For the last three years, a new show has captured the imagination of the British public and millions of people around the world. The prestigious Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London. It’s the world’s biggest indoor tournament. An exhilarating show of tennis between the world’s top eight male tennis players. With flashing lights. And music. And an electrifying atmosphere. It is a true spectacle.
And now, thanks to a grassroots initiative set up by Barclays, kids aged 12-16 from all over the UK have the chance to experience the excitement for themselves. They have the opportunity to become one of 30 Barclays Ball Kids showcasing their talent at the end of season tournament. Over the next 4 months, across the UK, 14 regional trials are being held by the Barclays Ball Kid Talent ID Team at local tennis clubs to whittle down the thousands of children that have already entered to take part in the scheme. From trials in Bromley and Birmingham to the likes of Southampton and Sunderland, the stage is set for a once in a lifetime opportunity for these children and they will be tested on everything from agility and endurance, to speed, team work and ball skills; a range of abilities that’s a necessity if you’re to become the very best ball kid on show.
It’s a way of getting kids out of the house and exercising. A way of introducing them to the world of sport. A way of enabling even the most underprivileged kids the chance to turn a dream into reality and walk out on court with the likes of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. After the 14 regional trials, around 100 finalists will be chosen to take part in the final trial in London at the end of April. Last year the kids met three-time Wimbledon Champion Boris Becker at the final trial for some advice and tips and were encouraged to showcase their skills in front of the Barclays Ball Kid Talent ID team.
After this, it’s in the hands of the coaches to pick the final 30. The chance to walk out under the bright lights at The O2 in November with their heroes. For one exhilarating week the chosen boys and girls become the most envied kids in town. It’s the year-end climax to the men’s professional tennis season, but it’s also a dream come true for the chosen ball kids taking part.
To take part in this unforgettable experience, there is still an opportunity for kids to sign-up at one of the remaining regional trials across the UK. So register your interest now and go to www.barclaysballkids.com to sign up.
The local venue is Virgin Active Hampshire Health and Racquets Club, West End, Southampton on Sunday 5th February.