Liverpool’s finest ball boys and girls will make their debut at the prestigious Davis Cup which is being staged in the city for the first time.
The 18 youngsters are all aspiring tennis stars from Liverpool and currently perform their ball duties at the Tradition-ICAP Liverpool International Tennis Tournament, which is organised by Northern Vision and takes place annually at Calderstones Park.
This latest opportunity arose after their trainer Kristine George, 20, from Wavertree was headhunted by the Lawn Tennis Association. The LTA were hugely impressed by the standard Miss George had managed to achieve with her students at the LITT.
Anders Borg, Tournament Director of Liverpool International Tennis Tournament said: “We are delighted that our ball girls and boys have been selected by the LTA. To assist the Davis Cup is a fantastic opportunity for the children and I am sure will fulfil many dreams. ” Miss George, who is currently studying International Business at Liverpool University, said: “I was really overwhelmed when the Lawn Tennis Association approached me to select and train 18 ball boys and girls for the Davis Cup. I am up for the challenge and I am confident that all of my students will perform and make Liverpool proud.” Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council who work alongside Northern Vision to deliver the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament said: ”The Liverpool International has developed a great reputation for involving youngsters in tennis and giving them the opportunity to see and work with the very best in the game. The fact that the tournament’s ball boys and girls are to work at the Davis Cup is a great coup – every bit as much as Ken Skupski’s GB debut proving the work at Calderstones Park over the last seven summers has been worth all the effort.’
Tennis is a sport that has a long history in Miss George’s family. Her grandmother, Pauline George, from Surrey, was a County player and played in the Veterans National Championships in 1992, 1995 and 1996.
Miss George, who was taught to play tennis at the age of seven by her grandmother, puts her current success down to her grandmother’s teaching and support.
Miss George, now plays for Palmerston Tennis Club in Allerton and has recently returned from the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in Texas, where she helped coach children of all ages and abilities from across the world.
Northern Vision is dedicated to the inclusion and development of sport programmes for children. They currently organise and operate one of the North West’s largest tennis programmes, encouraging over 5,000 children to learn and participate in the sport.
This programme is designed not only to find and nurture stars of the future, but to make the sport more accessible as well as using it to break boundaries, build team spirit and develop social skills.
Northern Vision’s principle event is The Liverpool International Tennis Tournament, which is now in its 6th year, is the only one of its kind, being a series of grass tournaments in the run up to Wimbledon. It is the largest exhibition event in Europe, showcasing some of the world’s elite Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association players such as Marit Safin, Paradorn Schrichapan and Ivan Ljubicic as well as tennis legends; Martina Navratilova, Pat Cash and Goran Ivanisevic.
The young ball boys and girls will be assisting at the Davis Cup, which takes place from Friday 18th September to Sunday 20th September at the Liverpool Echo Arena. For ticket information please call 0844 8000 400 or visit: www.echoarena.com.
For further information about the 2010 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament or the different tennis programmes Northern Vision currently operates across the North West please contact Michelle Bennett on email@example.com