If You Can’t Beat Them, Be Ball Kids To Them!
If You Can’t Beat Them, Be Ball Kids To
Holly Aitken, Chase Anderson-King, Liam Barry, Chris Boyd, Jemma Boyd, Casey Bradley, Campbell Brown, Brendan Chappell, Raphael Cho, Justin Cramer-Roberts, Trixie Croad, Scott Crookenden, Neeshah Dahya, Megan Dempster, Andjela Djokovic, Michael Durkin, Felix Fleming, Christine Foote, John Foote, Matthew Fraser, Melanie Gallagher, Rebecca Gallagher, Anthony Gibbes, Prashant Girdhar, William Gubb, Douglas Halley, Arron Harvie, Georgina Hayr, Kirsty Hayr, Tim Healey, William Heron, Catinca Hozoc, Jessica Hughson, Eliza Lantz, Jordon Lantz, Lyle Lazarus, Carolina Lewis, Bryn Lindsey, Paul Marcenac, Sophie McEwen, Jared McKinstrie, Rachael McLauchlan, Robert Menzies Jnr, Matthew Metzger, Katrina Mouton, Naiomi Mouton, Tanya Mouton, Rachael Murray, Thomas Murray, Sam Nash, Kasey Nihill, Alexandra Oliver, Chris Peat, Roddy Peat, Nicolai Petushinsky, Sophie Portet, Charlotte Robinson, Andrew Row, Aditya Sheth, Chris Simich, Rosalie Simich, Kate Smit, Brittany Staub, Elena Sutcliffe, John Taufa, Olivia Taylor, Isabella Ten Cate, Soscha Ten Cate, Chelsea Tidswel, Lars Tolhurst, Georgia Whelan, Sion Wiggin, Julian Wrolonlewski, Lucia Young, Joseph O'Connor, Kieron O'Connor, Geoffrey Hoggins, Madeline Barratt
For some kids January means sunshine, beaches and lazy days camping around New Zealand. For 80 tennis mad youngsters it means sweating it out courtside looking after some of the very best tennis players in the world.
Every summer 80 children are chosen from a rigorous selection process to be Sovereign Ball Kids at New Zealand’s two professional tennis tournaments, the ASB Classic (women) and the Heineken Open (men).
The reaction from the children is almost universal when asked what it is they look forward to most about their role at the two tournaments. 13 year old Chase Anderson-King from Manurewa sums up what it is like to have the ‘best seat in the house’.
“We have to concentrate so hard during matches but there are times when you can enjoy the rallies and admire the tennis and of course we get a lot of breaks when we can hang around the courts and get autographs from the players. It is a huge thrill to be so close to the players and see how fast the game really is from on the courts.”
Trainer Guy Nash is responsible for selecting the children and putting them through their paces, something he has done for 10 years now but his tennis involvement goes back many years beyond that.
“We take great delight in seeing the enjoyment the children get out of this job but it should not be underestimated how important they are to the tournament or the enjoyment of the players. The best Sovereign Ball Kids are the ones you cannot see, the ones who do their job efficiently and quietly. Once again this year we have a great group of children and supportive parents.”
Ball Kids sponsor Sovereign is delighted to include the Sovereign Ball Kids in their tennis sponsorship portfolio. Vena Crawley, Head of Marketing and Product Management explains:
“Our focus on health and wellbeing means we are constantly reinforcing the role that exercise and sport play in keeping New Zealanders active and healthy; and so, supporting the Sovereign Ball Kids is one way we can bring this vision to life.”
Chase and the other children will assemble on New Years Day for the start of the ASB Classic and will be on duty for the best part of the next two weeks until the Heineken Open concludes on centre court at the ASB Tennis Centre in Auckland.