Chasing every ball

It’s that time of year again, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (1-14 July) are well underway, with fans being on the edge of their seats as they watch the thrills and spills. I have put a quick tip at the end on how to get a ticket to watch some of the championship on the cheap and at last minute!

One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s championships is, of course, Sir Andy Murray’s comeback after defeat in the first round of the Australian Open earlier this year and gruelling hip surgery suggested that his tennis career was all over.

Having been plagued by hip pain for the last decade, Murray underwent a second bout of hip resurfacing surgery in January this year. His pain had reportedly got so bad that he even struggled to get his socks on.

But it’s inspirational to see him back in the world’s most famous tennis tournament for the first time since 2017, having pulled out of last year’s Wimbledon just the day before because of injury.

As well as being inspirational, Murray’s attitude is also relatable Just like any other sport, and indeed business and many other spheres of life, the determination to succeed and refusal to give up despite failure and setback is something that many of us can take hope from.

Murray has also previously paid tribute to his wife, Kim, and mother, Judy, for their unwavering support. It’s a reminder that the backroom team is just as important and part of a winning combination as the star player.

This goes for anyone working in small business. Often it’s the unseen hours of effort and perseverance that lead up to the glistening trophy of success.

I can also relate this determined attitude back to my recent blog celebrating National Freelancers Day, and acknowledging the sometimes isolating, tough and thankless task of setting up a business or being a lone freelance worker.

That’s the wonderful thing about sport – it’s a great leveller and something that we can relate to, whatever our walk of life.

All this talk of sport is a good opportunity to welcome the new chair appointed to direct UK athletics. Former Head of Global Marketing for HSBC Chris Clark has just stepped into this role. A keen runner himself and bringing with him a wealth of experience from his time in UK business, advertising and marketing, he’s the ideal candidate to build athletics’ profile, hand in hand with boosting inclusiveness and easy access for all.

The parallels with practising sport and starting a business are clear: both require practice, strategy and the determination to succeed. And the journey also comes with setbacks, injury, disappointment and failure. I think what Sir Andy Murray has taught all of us is, as long as you persist with passion and determination, your efforts will be worthwhile.

In his own words, “I believe you should give 100 per cent on the court, so I chase every ball”.

Top tip to watch Wimbledon: I have been a few times and if you get a chance do try and go it is really worth it. The best way in the past that i have found is to get up early, join the queue, get a ground pass and then after 3pm head to one of the ticket resell points inside the ground. Here you can buy a returned ticket for one of the main courts (at a low price) and you can get to watch some really excellent tennis on the cheap. 1st week is always best if you can.

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