The Center for Community Engaged Learning’s motto, “Better Together,” continued on this summer, although members of the department were let down by the news of the 2020 Wimbledon Tennis Championship cancellation.

Hearing that the championships were canceled due COVID-19, CCEL decided to bring the competition to WSU, with a virtual contest called Weberdon.

According to the Wimbledon website, the last time that the world-renowned tennis championships were “interrupted” was during the World Wars.

“I would like to thank all those who love Wimbledon for their understanding of these unique and unquestionably challenging circumstances,” Robert Lewis, Chief Executive, said on the official website.

In past years, CCEL has hosted a casual showing of the Wimbledon Championship at the school where students, faculty and staff could stop in and enjoy a place to watch the tennis championships and Olympics during the slower summer months.

Weberdon, though, asked participants to record themselves in a variety of activities. The signups to participate in Weberdon ended on July 3.

“The first activity was to create a Wimbledon-themed Virtual Backdrop combined with a Tennis Haiku that participants would read their poem in front of and send into us,” said Teresa Martinez, Student Engagement Coordinator at WSU’s Center for Community Engaged Learning.

Martinez described the next activity as the Paddle Paper contest. Participants record themselves bouncing wads of paper off of paddles, which can be anything made from a hard surface, such as a notebook.

The first round of the Weberdon activities, the Virtual Backdrop and Tennis Haiku, were judged on July 10; the next round’s activity, the Paddle Paper Contest, was judged on July 17; in the event of a tie, the tiebreaker is to create a Wimbledon decorated food platter.

The winner of these submissions will receive a gold-colored tennis racket as a trophy.

The idea came when Martinez first heard about the cancellation of the Wimbledon Championships; she immediately thought of her colleagues and how they wouldn’t be able to spend time together and celebrate the match as they had in past years. She hopped on a Zoom call and the Weberdon challenge was born.

“Whenever we find ways to stay connected,” said Martinez. “We are ‘better together,’ and it just so happens that we have things like Weberdon that come out of that.”

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