Wimbledon concern over slips & trips – just a load of balls?
From the Telegraph 21/06/11:
Thousands of tennis fans were denied the chance to watch Andy Murray's opening match at Wimbledon last night as the outdoor screen was turned off for the first time in the tournament's history because of the weather.
Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins said: "The hill has been closed because of the slippery nature of the grass while it is so wet.
"It is a health and safety issue. We just can’t have people slipping and sliding and falling off the thing and breaking their ankles.
We potentially could have large numbers of people slipping and sliding all over the place."
Still, that doesn’t seem to concern local authorities when they don’t bother gritting the pavements in winter.
The announcement, made on a tannoy system as Murray warmed up, was met with groans and boos by the crowds who had gathered on the hill, a favoured viewing spot for those who do not manage to get tickets for the main courts at SW19.
Um – excuse me: you can’t make groaning or grunting noises at Wimbledon!!! It’s just not
cricket tennis, ahem, allowed - apparently. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than a good old grunt, shriek and moan whilst on court. And if you’re hitting a tennis ball at the time, so much the better.
Anyway, can’t Henman Hill / Murray Mount be astroturfed? Or what about insisting fans move around on wet grass on all fours or imitating a seal moving up a beach? Or why not have Wimbledon organisers dish out studded boots?
[As for … British hopeful Katie O'Brien] … [h]er day was would only get worse after writing on her Twitter page: "I've just been sat in the rain on Henman Hill with friends and family drowning my sorrows with a Pimms!!!"
Great – so instead of getting wet feet on the grass, inconsolable tennis fans turn to the bottle and give their livers a pounding. Still, isn’t that what Wimbledon is all about for us Brits – downfalls and alcohol?