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8 February 2012

Barclays Ball Kids

Kids from Southampton Trial Progress to the Final of Barclays Ball Kids

It was the Barclays Ball Kids initiative in Southampton last weekend. As a result, Sunday saw nearly 100 energetic kids descend upon The Hampshire Health & Racquets Club in a rush to see if they had what it takes to be a star ball kid alongside the top eight players in the world.

The search is on to find the top 30 ball kids across the whole of the UK to take their place in the history books at the world's most prestigious tournament, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in November. With bright lights and pumping music reverberating around the court, it really is something not to be missed.

So when the coaches chose just seven lucky youngsters to take their place in the final selection trial at the Westway in London on April 28th it wasn't surprising that a few of them would be jumping for joy.

Indeed, 15 year-old Benjamin Mason was one of the fortunate few to make it through and said of his experience at the trial:
“It would be an amazing experience. I have been to The O2 and seen the Barclays Ball Kids perform and I just want to be on court with the rest of the squad. I have tried out twice and was a reserve last year so hopefully I can get through to the final 30 this year. I was sweating quite a lot and working as hard as I could, so hopefully the coaches saw that and it pays off! It would be so good to be on court with all the players in November – to get to that final stage would be amazing.”

So joining Benjamin at the final selection trial will be Holly Bennett (14, from Lewes), Taylor India (13, Fareham), Reiga Belcher (13, Bournemouth), Gianpiero Placidi (15, Bournemouth), Emily Bearne (15, Salisbury) and Olivia James (15, Southampton). All seven of them showed impressive skills on the day and persuaded the coaches that they were in with a shot of making the final squad of 30.

This is their chance to meet the likes of Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. So if they make it through the final 100, they can forever lay claim to the fact that they were a ball kid at the world's most prestigious and exciting tennis tournament. A place where the top eight players in the world come together to battle it out for tennis' most wanted prize.


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