Striking fountain of tennis balls in Greenwich Park highlights how clean water could save thousands of lives a day

Posted by
Anna France Williams
19 June 2019
WaterAid/Oliver Dixon

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WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation have created a spectacular fountain of 2,631 tennis balls in Greenwich Park to mark the average number of lives that could be saved each day if everyone everywhere had clean water and decent toilets. 

Two weeks before the start of Wimbledon 2019, the remarkable tennis ball installation that overlooks the London skyline is a poignant reminder of the huge numbers of people around the world who could be enjoying a healthy future if only they had clean water close to home. 

Across the world, 1 in 10 people don’t have clean water and 1 in 4 lack access to a decent toilet. Without these basic necessities children often miss school due to the burden of water collection or water-related illnesses and every day, thousands of lives are lost.  

Each tennis ball that makes up the fountain represents a death that could be prevented if everyone everywhere had clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. 

The partnership between WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation is helping to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for health centres, schools and communities in Ethiopia, Malawi and Nepal. The fountain is part of their #TeamWater campaign. 

Helen Parker, Head of the Wimbledon Foundation said: 

"It’s hard to imagine life without access to clean water, yet for 1 in 10 people around the world, this is a daily reality, holding whole communities back from fulfilling their potential.  

“Clean water and good sanitation are vital ingredients for health, education and success. The Wimbledon Foundation is proud to team up with WaterAid to champion water for everyone everywhere and help prevent lives being lost needlessly.” 

Marcus Missen, Director of Communications and Fundraising at WaterAid, said:  

“The striking fountain of tennis balls highlights the scale of the global water and sanitation crisis and the urgent need to tackle it together. Each of the 2,631 tennis balls on the fountain represents one human life that could be saved on average every single day if everyone everywhere had access to clean water and decent toilets.   

“By working together with the Wimbledon Foundation to provide clean water, we are helping transform lives and ensure healthier futures for generations to come.”   

Ketilina Nyundo, 37, a mother of three from Malawi, said her life was transformed when WaterAid helped bring water to her village.  

Ketilina said:  

“Since we received a bore hole in the village, life has never felt better. As a community, we have had our livelihoods elevated. More children are going to school. People are now able to build better houses. As a mother, I am now proud to be able to support my children. Unlike in the past where they had to report late for their classes, things have improved now. On top of that, they are doing quite well in school.” 

Local schoolchildren from South East London, Lola, 7, Nelly, 9, and Amelia May, 8, visited the fountain to support the #TeamWater campaign. 

Lola, 7, from Lee in South East London, said: 

“It’s so sad that there are children who don’t have water. I can’t imagine life without it. We need it to drink and to wash. We need it for everything. No-one should have to live without clean water.”  

The fountain installation will also be on display at this year’s Championships, which begin on 1 July. The tennis balls for this installation were gifted by Slazenger, the official ball of The Championships, and will be recycled following The Championships. 

For further information:                                                                                         


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For more information, please contact: 


Anna France-Williams, Senior Media Officer, [email protected] 
or +44 (0) 207 793 5048 or Laura Crowley, PR manager, [email protected]
or +44 (0)207 793 4965 

Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected] 

Wimbledon Foundation 

AELTC Communications, [email protected] 

Notes to Editors: 

The Wimbledon Foundation 

The Wimbledon Foundation, established in 2013, is the charity of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships. Our mission is to help change people's lives using the resources and heritage of Wimbledon. The Wimbledon Foundation's goals are to strengthen our local community, support healthy and active lives, develop young people and help those in need. For more information, visit, follow @WimbledonFDN on Twitter and Instagram, or find Wimbledon on Facebook at


WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 26.4 million people with clean water and 26.3 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit, follow @wateraid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at

  • 785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.[1]
  • 2 billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]
  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]
  • Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5]
  • To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database 

[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines


[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage