Barclays Ball Kids
Holding Court in Peterborough
If you want to be the best, you have to beat the rest. And this was indeed the case at last Saturday's Barclays Ball Kids trial in Peterborough; a search for the best ball kids in the UK.
The Thorpe Wood Health & Racquets Club showcased talent from all over the East of England, each kid vying for a place in the final squad to be on show at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2, London, in November. Next stop is a place in the final hundred where the talented individuals will pit their wits against each other, aiming to make the final squad of thirty Barclays Ball Kids for the end of season spectacle.
The heart pumping Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is the prize and the four lucky youngsters that progressed from the Peterborough trial are now one step closer to living out their dream on-court at The O2.
With fifty-five kids between the ages of 12-16 having turned up at the trial, it was a hard job for the coaching team to pick from the array of talent on display. In the end, it was the kids that showed the very best in athleticism, agility, coordination, speed and teamwork that won through to the next round.
James Wallace (age 12, from Meppershall), Poppy Tovey (15, Castor), Daisy Reed (14, Walgrave) and Claudia Johnson (13, Bedford) were the kids that impressed the coaches on the day and they will now meet three time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker at the final selection trial in London on April 28th.
This is the chance of a lifetime. An amazing opportunity to be on court with the top eight tennis players in the world. Where else could you carry Federer's towel for him? Or be within touching distance of the World Number One, Novak Djokovic? Or feed balls to the Best of British, Andy Murray?
The answer is the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The stage is now set for the final Barclays Ball Kids trial in London. All they have to do is show they have what it takes to be one of the best ball kids in the world. There are only thirty places available, but for now they're just excited to be in the final 100:
Indeed, 12 year-old James Wallace sums up the feelings of all the lucky finalists:
“I would love to be a Barclays Ball Kid because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and they only pick a few to be in the final squad and it would just be amazing to meet all the pros. I'd love to be on court with them, although it would be quite scary because there are 50,000 people in the crowd and loads more watching on TV but I know it would just be the best experience ever!”
So we wait for the final curtain to fall. When 100 become 30. When the best really have beaten the rest.
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Get all the latest news, videos and images from the tournament.