ellesse has today announced its creation of ‘City Slam’, a community-based tennis tournament taking place on Sunday 18th July at Westway Courts in Notting Hill, London, which aims to promote accessibility and inclusivity in the sport.
Part of a three-year partnership with global streetwear brand Patta, the tournament will showcase home-grown talent from a diverse array of social backgrounds and inner-city areas. Taking place a week after the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the event provides a timely gateway to open discussions around the existing culture of the sport.
City Slam will be co-ordinated by the charity Performance Plus Sport, which works to create sporting opportunities for young people to build self-belief and develop life skills.
Tennis has seen participation numbers in the UK fall continuously between 2016 and 2020* and City Slam aims to tackle the root of issues limiting access to the sport, namely financial inaccessibility, lack of attainable equipment and access to tennis coaching.
Simon Breckon, ellesse Brand Director, says, “We want everyone to be able to enjoy tennis as a sport, regardless of their socioeconomic background, and we’re committed to creating accessibility to tennis through funding programmes such as this one with Performance Plus Sport.”
The winning players will be awarded a one-year scholarship for individual training programmes funded by ellesse and Patta, as well as tennis equipment and kit.
Timothy Sabajo, founder of Patta, says, “Working in partnership with ellesse and Performance Plus Sport is an opportunity for Patta to join a revolution in changing the perception of tennis and making it more accessible for everyone. We’re excited to be partnering with ellesse on something that is so close to our hearts.”
James Feaver, Director of Performance Plus Sport, says, “We’re hugely honoured and excited to be involved in City Slam. Our team of mentors and volunteers, who dedicate their time to these young people, have been waiting for an opportunity to tell the story of our aspiring young players. We can’t wait to see the results and kick start the new ellesse x Patta scholarship programme”.
*Source: Tennis Participation in England (2016-20) by David Lang 2020