BRITISH NO.2 HEATHER WATSON TO LAUNCH STATOIL’S LATEST GRASSROOTS COMMUNITY TENNIS INITIATIVE

Statoil sponsored British No.2 tennis player Heather Watson will play role model to the local children of Paddington, in London, to open Statoil’s latest investment in British Tennis as part of its Heroes of Tomorrow initiative. 

Heather, who is an official ambassador of Statoil’s corporate and social responsibility initiate called Heroes of Tomorrow, which gives support to young people in sport, culture and education, will visit St Mary Magdalene School on Friday 7th June to celebrate the continued investment by Statoil to their local Paddington community.

Heather said: “To be chosen as the ambassador for Statoil’s Heroes of Tomorrow programme is a real honour. To have the opportunity to be part of such a fantastic initiative that supports rising sporting talent is humbling. I strive to be a role model and be someone kids can look up to and who they feel they can relate to – my work with Statoil is helping me to become the role model I want to be.”

The opening of a dedicated tennis coaching centre in Paddington is part of Statoil’s sponsorship of leading UK tennis Charity Give It Your Max (GIYM).

Norway’s largest international energy company Statoil announced its support to Give It Your Max in June last year as part of its sponsorship initiative ‘Heroes of Tomorrow’ which sponsors young talented people in the sport, culture and education fields.

Give It Your Max is one the UK’s leading grass-roots tennis charity that pays for qualified tennis coaches to introduce and teach tennis to children aged between five and ten years old in the state sector. With the investment from Statoil, GIYM has been able to grow its programme across the UK, with plans to launch another centre in Aberdeen later this year.

Heather added: “The support Statoil gives to Give It Your Max is amazing. The work I’ve done so far with Statoil’s Heroes of Tomorrow programme has been so much fun. The kids involved are so impressive. The generous investment by Statoil into UK tennis and the Give It Your Max programme is so important, we have to make sure that kids who don’t have the means, have a chance to shine in the future. Statoil’s investment is making tennis more accessible and I’m so proud to be part of that.”

John Knight, Statoil’s Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Business Development, said: “As a young British woman, Heather’s commitment and achievement sets a very positive example for young people around the country, including in our own neighbourhood – Paddington – where Statoil’s sponsorship of Give It Your Max is helping some of the young children living locally, to access high-quality tennis coaching, to learn new skills, and to have fun.”

Mike Stotesbury, Founder and Trustee of ‘Give It Your Max’ comments:  “We are extremely grateful to Statoil for their generous financial support for ‘Give It Your Max’ over the next three years. The opening of Paddington will allow us to introduce more children to tennis at a young age in another deprived part of the capital. Since 2005 ‘Give It Your Max’ has introduced at least 50,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 to tennis across the UK.”

‘Give it your Max’ is a Registered Charity founded in memory of Max Stotesbury. He was 18 when he died in a motoring accident in 2004.  He was a good tennis player and during the holidays assisted Dan Bloxham, head coach at the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative.  This initiative has been a great success in introducing tennis to young children in theLondonboroughs of Wandsworth and Merton.  To start up similar initiatives around the country was thought to be a fitting tribute to Max.

Successful programmes are now established in Reading, Canterbury and Orpington in Kent, Edgbaston, Birmingham and in Greater London, Peckham and Merton. A new initiative is now planned for Paddington and possibly another in Kent.

Watch the Heroes of Tomorrow video featuring Heather Watson, Tim Henman, Virginia Wade OBE and Sir Trevor McDonald here: http://www.giveityourmax.org/newsite/

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