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Smile Train

© Aeltc/thomaslovelock

The Campaigning team was delighted to be appointed to work with global cleft lip and palate charity Smile Train, which was selected as the charity partner to perform the coin toss at the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Singles final. Smile Train ambassador 11-year-old Pinki Sonkar, who had life-changing cleft lip surgery in 2005, travelled from India to represent the charity on the big day.We liaised with Smile Train’s offices in New York and Delhi throughout the campaign, acting as the central point of contact with the communications team at the All England Lawn Tennis Club to achieve sign off for the global announcement of the partnership and ensuring that the charity complied with their PR guidelines. The announcement generated coverage on BBC News online, The Daily Telegraph online and Fundraising.co.uk. On their arrival in London, we organised a back-to-back media day for Pinki, her father, Pinki’s surgeon and Smile Train India’s Director of Programmes, which included interviews with BBC World News, BBC Asian Network, CNN-IBN and Asian Voice.On the day of the final, a smiling Pinki lit up Centre Court as she joined Championships Referee Andrew Jarrett to perform the coin toss to decide which player served first, with photographs of the coin toss appearing on the Mail Online and The Wall Street Journal. Her appearance was followed by more global media interviews, including a report by NDTV from SW19’s Rose & Crown.The following day we took Pinki and the Smile Train India team on an open top bus tour, booking a photographer and videographer to capture Pinki enjoying the sights of London and stopping off at Covent Garden for a final interview with Indian news channel Aaj Tak.

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