Paint, tennis balls and a brand spanking new Mercedes Benz C Class Sports car made an unlikely combination on the playground at Melrose School in Mitcham when triple Wimbledon champion, Boris Becker paid the school a surprise visit earlier this week.
Boris bantered with the pupils whilst he got them to hand paint a brand new Mercedes Benz C Class Sport as part of a fundraising campaign for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 HIV/AIDS charity. Under Boris’s watchful eye 14 students dipped their hands in bright paints and covered the car in colourful handprints. The car, sponsored by Mercedes Benz, is to be a birthday gift to Nelson Mandela for his charity 46664. It will be presented to him this Friday at his ‘Retired from Retirement’ Concert in Hyde Park.
Boris also spent time hanging out with the pupils and to their great delight he even knocked a few balls around the school’s tennis court before signing the tennis racquets and balls. At the end of his visit he gave the students and their families100 tickets to the Nelson Mandela concert this Friday.
Boris Becker said:
“Sport is the international language and it really is an important part of a child’s education. There simply isn’t enough importance placed on it in schools. I do a lot of work promoting sports in German schools where children don’t always get the opportunity to play sport, so I’m really impressed that Melrose has a tennis court in its backyard and that many of the pupils can play tennis.”
Head Teacher of Melrose School, Steve Childs said:
“It was absolutely fantastic that Boris visited our school and even hit a few tennis balls with the pupils. At Melrose sport is an integral part of the curriculum. We use it as a way of engaging our pupils and contributing to a healthy lifestyle.”
Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Councillor Debbie Shears added:
“I’m really pleased that a Merton School was visited by Boris Becker and delighted that he commented so positively on the school’s sport provision. This is yet another example of schools in Merton giving students the chance to achieve their potential.”
Notes to editors:
– 46664 is an African response to the global HIV AIDS epidemic that invites the whole world to take the fight in hand. The charity is part of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and aims to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS issues and in particular, educate the younger generations. By gaining global backing for the cause the charity raises funds to directly assist the many HIV AIDS projects it supports.
– Pictures of Boris Becker’s visit available on request.