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TENNIS


After Wimbledon, the grounds team have just 20 days to get the courts back into condition


CONVERTING WIMBLEDON INTO AN OLYMPIC VENUE


A


ccording to London Organis- ing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) sports manag- er Clare Wood, the All England


Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) was chosen to host the tennis events in the Olympic bid process due to its being one of the most recognisable tennis venues in the world. However, she says there’s a lot to do to create a unique Olympic atmosphere. “It’s all about differentiation,” she says.


“Hopefully the global audience won’t be expecting a mini version of the Wimble- don Championships. Although we have the greatest courts to play on at the greatest club in the world, we’re expect- ing people to say ‘wow this is different’.” LOCOG will get just 20 days to trans-


form the AELTC into an Olympic venue after the Wimbledon Championships this year. Planning has been going on for two years to make sure not a second is wast- ed during the transition time. “Our number one priority is to get the courts ready. Everything happens around


Issue 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012


ONE OF THE MOST QUINTESSENTIALLY ENGLISH AND ICONIC SPORTS VENUES IN THE WORLD WILL UNDERGO A SWIFT TRANSFORMATION INTO AN OLYMPIC VENUE IN JULY THIS YEAR. KATH HUDSON GOES BEHIND THE SCENES AT WIMBLEDON


that,” says Wood. “We’ll be changing the overlay of the courts and getting the tribunes built for press and broadcast. In addition to this we’ll be getting the workforce familiar with venue specific training, while making sure the comput- ers and network are all cabled up. Each room being used for an Olympic purpose will then be set up, which will involve the movement of some furniture and technology,” she explains.


CHANGE OF PACE The Olympic tennis schedule will be a smaller event than Wimbledon. Only 12 of the 19 courts will be used during nine days. There will be 172 athletes (86 men and 86 women) taking part in five events: men’s


singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles. There will, however, be some major


differences between the two events. One of them is the lack of the legend- ary Wimbledon queue. Every ticket for the Olympic events is pre-sold and with increased entry points and a longer lead- time until play starts – access into the venue is expected to be swift. “Part of the Wimbledon experience is


the queue, so the Olympic event will of- fer a different experience,” says Wood. “However, another major, and perhaps shocking, difference is that players’ clothing will not compulsorily be white. Instead, there will be a vibrant mix of national team colours.”


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PIC: © AELTC


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