Sunbury Manor School has, for many years, been delighted to have the opportunity to provide Ballboys and Ballgirls for the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon. The youngsters you see in the photograph are the continuation of a long line of students who have been representing the school at Wimbledon since 1998.
To gain the uniforms you see them so proudly wear takes months of dedication and hard work. Training usually begins in school during the November prior to the Championships. Competition to gain the right to represent the school is always very high, with students undergoing trials and an interview process before even starting the training at Wimbledon.
Hours of training at the All England club are to be endured, alongside the hours of travelling to and from the Covered Courts. Training starts at 4pm and continues until 6:30pm. The de-brief that follows and the journey home means that many of the students do not reach home until 8pm. To simply say they are committed to the idea of becoming a Ballgirl or Ballboy would be an understatement. For all of them the travel and training simply becomes a part of their life.
Tested this year by incredibly long days and unusually high temperatures, 35 degrees on the first Wednesday, I’m delighted to report that all came through with flying colours and represented Sunbury Manor in the most impressive manner. A testament to themselves and the incredibly vigorous training they went through. Testimony, if any was needed, that desire, combined with hard work can and usually does bring about the desired result.
And what was the end result? Well you see it in the photograph. Ballboys and Ballgirls of Wimbledon. Recognised worldwide as being the best at what they do by players and officials alike. Recognition that hard work and commitment pay off is evident every day they wear their uniforms. Evidence of the pride they have for what they have achieved is evident in their smiles.
Many of the youngsters featured represented the school on the main Show Courts at the All England Club, including Centre and Number One Courts. Some of them may even take part in both the Ladies’ and Mens’ Finals this weekend!
As a school, we are extremely proud of their achievements and delighted that they have, once again, continued the great tradition of Sunbury Manor providing Ballboys and Ballgirls for Wimbledon.