On Thursday 29th June, Tennis2Be was selected for an extremely rare opportunity to meet and play with a top ten tennis player at UNIQLO in Oxford Circus, Kei Nishikori. A total of 52 people attended the event from Tennis2Be event including volunteers, children, parents and disabled players from our different tennis programmes across London.
A big thank you to UNIQLO Oxford Circus for organising this event where children of Tennis2Be got to meet @Kei Nishikori. The children received t-shirts and caps from the simple and essential yet universal UNIQLO brand. UNIQLO is a clothing apparel company, which was originally founded in Yamaguchi, Japan in 1949 as a textiles manufacturer. Now it is a global brand with over 1000 stores around the world. Redefining clothing, with a focus on quality and textiles which has been unwavered since the company’s origins in 1949.
Kei Nishikori is a highly talented tennis player from Japan, his superb footwork, consistent groundstrokes, and strong ability to play both defensively and aggressively make him a force to be reckoned with. He has won 11 singles titles and reached the US Open finals in 2014. Not only is Nishikori a top 10 tennis player, but he is also a good person: humble, hard-working, and kind gentleman, all values which are instilled in the children by the Charity. It was amazing for the children of Tennis2Be to meet such a great tennis player.
The children arrived at UNIQLO around 5:30pm eager to meet Kei Nishikori. As soon as Kei arrived, excitement filled the room and the children were overjoyed to see him. They surprised Kei with a lovely collage filled with good wishes, his best tennis moments alongside their own tennis expertise!.
After this, the children had the chance to ask Kei some questions about his thoughts for Wimbledon, how he got into tennis and his work ethic. @UNIQLO staff and event organisers were attentive and looked after the children, staff and parents whilst ensuring smooth proceedings. Kei then signed each a ball, post card, t-shirt and special cap for each child to take away. The delighted of the children was clear to see in their starry eyes.
Then it was time for some tennis with Kei - a lifetime opportunity indeed! The court was set, and the kids were ready to take on Japan’s number one player, Kei Nishikori. They had so much fun rallying with Kei, trying different shots, some of the soft balls landing on the floor below!. Kei was in high spirits, showing his appreciation with a wide smile (reserved for off court experiences only). There was lots of cheering, oohs, aaahs, long (and equally short) rallies played after which it was time to bid farewell and group photographs.
Some feedback from those who attended is quoted below:
“Fantastic event organised by @UNIQLO and @Tennis2Be. Well done to the team for arranging and taking care of children and the parents.”
“Inspiring to meet a GREAT tennis player”
“It was an amazing experience and once in a lifetime opportunity!”