In this column, I wanted to share the privilege of being invited to the Royal Box by the Chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club in recognition of work helping people stay active over the Covid pandemic.
I still have to pinch myself about where I was last week. When I received the invitation from the Chairman, I thought it was a prank! I have been sharing lots of pics and clips from the special day on my Instagram but it still feels totally surreal.
I’ve been a crazy Wimbledon fan since a teenager, I even queued outside and have been trying to go every year.
It was a magical day and they treated us literally like royalty. From police opening closed off roads to access the dedicated car park, passing Covid safety check to then being escorted through the main entrance with a security guard and entering the very special clubhouse, to having second row seats in the Royal Box, with its padded wicker seats and being so up close to the players!
The hospitality was amazing and we spent the day popping in between sets for their special Royal Box hand-picked strawberries with free flowing drinks, sitting on the outdoor terrace overlooking the courts I’d usually queue up to sit in.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love food! My mum is a chef and cookery writer of the book “Feel Good With Food” so I’ve been brought up with amazing food. In all the years I have been going to Wimbledon, it’s a tradition for me to indulge in their Pimms, strawberries and scones.
The invitation said it included lunch in the clubhouse prior to the commencement of play, afternoon tea and drinks with canapés at the end of the day.
At lunch we sat on the table directly next to HRH The Duke of Kent, HRH Prince Micheal of Kent and his family members. It was so surreal to be dining so close to royals & it was very emotional when the Chairman personally thanked some of us for our services over the Covid pandemic in his welcome speech.
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The tennis was incredible, watching two of my favourite players – Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray so close, a stones throw away from our seats. The Murray match was one of the best I’ve ever seen with the electrifying atmosphere! I practiced many sit and stands/ovations during the match, so many were caught on camera with friends sending pics of us on TV.
I received many compliments on the dress I wore, including some from the Royal Family. It was nice to be out of gym gear for a change.
Within half an hour of entering the Royal Box, I was asked if I could be interviewed for the Wimbledon Channel. It was a fabulous experience to share my story and my mission, to especially help the South Asian communities get healthier, as well as sharing the idea I proposed to the Chairman and his wife to get everyone at Wimbledon to do a quick “Exercise Snack” with me at their seats whilst watching the tennis.
It was such an honour and I feel very blessed. It’s a day I’ll remember and treasure for the rest of my life.
Thanks to everyone that has taken part in any of my workouts over the last 15 months – maybe exercise snacking with me and my family or doing the Feel Good daily workouts or that has shared my Seniors Workouts.
I’m very grateful to have your support and hope to continue helping as many as I can Feel Good!
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Lavina Mehta was awarded an MBE for services to health and fitness during Covid-19. She is passionate about promoting the health benefits of exercise to treat, prevent and reduce risks of common chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. In her regular Feel Good series with iGlobal, the award-winning personal trainer and wellness coach shares stories from her journey into fitness, workout tips and announcements about her upcoming online sessions.