Wimbledon 2015: The Scots working behind the scenes

  • Published
Olwyn Roy
Image caption,
Olwyn Roy has judged at finals featuring the Williams sisters, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray, his brother Jamie, Colin Fleming, Jocelyn Rae, Gordon Reid - just a few of the Scots players who have appeared at this year's Wimbledon championships.

While much of our focus has been on the court, with the odd dash to Murray Mound to see what the punters have to say, it hasn't gone unnoticed that there are some Scots also working behind the scenes at SW19.

Olwyn Roy, from Tullibody, is one. She has been working at the championship for 30 years, mostly as a line judge.

The home economics teacher is a keen tennis player herself.

As an umpire she has seen some of the world's top seeds when they were youths, and jokes of her failure to recognise the talent of a certain teenager named Roger Federer.

The Swiss is now her favourite player.

"This is my 30th Wimbledon, I even did one where I was working in Australia for a year and I came back just for Wimbledon, so I've done 30 consecutive," she said.

She added: "We work hard all year to make certain we are selected to come down here.

"With grass, there's a special technique where you have to wait for the chalk, because sometimes if you're used to working on hard courts you'll call that bit more quickly and then you find you have a puff of chalk coming up, which obviously proves the ball is not out."

Another Scot who enjoys working at Wimbledon is Martin Swan, a former bank employee from Edinburgh.

Wearing his luminous orange vest, he is in charge of running a large section of the queue at the All England Club.

"As a member of the public, I think probably my second year living in London, I started queuing and I have been in the overnight queue," he commented.

Image caption,
Martin Swan has enjoyed working near Andy Murray on centre court

"I have camped in the street when you could camp in the street in the old days.

"I've been involved in Wimbledon either as a customer or working here for nearly 30 years now."

Martin also managed to get closer to the action this year, with some work on the gangway of centre court.

"I'm pleased to have been on centre court I think for two of Andy Murray's matches," he said. "It's a great atmosphere."

So apart from the obvious - the internationally renowned tennis tournament, the sunny weather, the manicured grounds where you can rub shoulders with many celebrities, and, of course, the strawberries - what is it that keeps volunteers like these Scots coming back, year after year?

"There's an incredible sense of camaraderie amongst the stewards here," said Martin.

"|We generally only see each other once a year but as soon as we are back together we work really well as teams, we have a good laugh and the public like us as well."

Over the years, Olwyn has officiated some great matches including the 2008 final between the Williams sisters, and the 2007 final between Federer and Rafael Nadal.

And after seeing so many champions come and go, there are bound to be many stand out moments, which Olwyn savours when she can.

"It's everybody's dream to do a final so if you are lucky enough to get selected for the final those are the ones that are very memorable," she said.

"Occasionally it can be other matches where possibly it's just been an absolutely terrific match. You'll never forget them."

Asked if she planned on travelling back down in 2016 for the 31st consecutive year, Olwyn responded: "Definitely."