Wimbledon champ Bartoli pledges school in Jamaica
TORONTO, Canada — Former professional tennis star and 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has pledged her support to build a brand new school in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
During a heart-warming visit to the island earlier this year with Jamaica native and Rogers Cup Tournament Director Karl Hale, Bartoli was deeply inspired by the warmth of its people.
"Jamaica is well known for its tourist destinations and irie vibes. But after meeting real locals and travelling to their communities, I learned that some of the citizens may have a different experience of island living," noted Bartoli. "I felt the need to do something to help my new friends in Jamaica."
Bartoli partnered with Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation, a Canadian charity dedicated to building new schools in struggling areas of Jamaica, and has committed to the construction of a new school, to be completed by April 2015.
To help raise financial support for the project, the retired athlete is performing a rare exhibition match in Jamaica on Friday, April 24, 2015. The exhibition will count towards the Jamaica Tennis ITF Championship.
"Giving back isn't always about just financial support. Sometimes you just have to dive in and make a real, impactful change on people's lives when you can. My hope is that more pro-athletes join in, and that this basic school is the first of many."
Bartoli, a French former professional tennis player, won the 2013 Wimbledon Championships singles title after previously being runner-up in 2007, and was a semi-finalist at the 2011 French Open.