Politics

‘Moving’ Standing Ovation For NHS And Key Workers At Wimbledon

Medical staff and other “inspirational individuals” who have been invited to the Royal Box on the first day of this year’s Wimbledon were given a standing ovation before the first match on Centre Court.

Guests included Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of veteran fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised over £32 million for the NHS, as well as designers of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

Announcers paid tribute to the “important work” done by key workers before the first game on Centre Court between defending champion Novak Djokovic and 19-year-old Jack Draper from the UK.

Dame Sarah Gilbert, who co-designed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also attended the Royal Box, and she and her colleagues were applauded and cheered by other match-goers.

Organisers have issued hundreds of free tickets to key workers throughout the tournament to say thank you for their work during the pandemic.

The competition’s chief executive, Sally Bolton, has said there will be a “familiar feel” at the championship following a “level of uncertainty” caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Bolton said she was feeling “excitement” that the famous tennis tournament was starting, adding that “we can talk about tennis and not talk about Covid”.

Speaking as the SW19 gates opened to fans for the first time in two years, she said the degree of “trepidation” felt while organising Wimbledon had been no different to any other year.


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