Queen Mary’s College (QMC) PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson is a busy lady as along with her teaching and tennis duties, she also manages the ball boys and girls (BBGs) at The Championships, Wimbledon. Goldson said, “It has been a busy couple of weeks in the run up to the Championships, although the programme started in October with new BBGs training from January onwards. It has been a great experience again this year working with such dedicated kids from Merton and Wandsworth Schools as well as others from surrounding areas.”
Goldson at work in SW19
Goldson landed the Ballboy/Ballgirl Manager position at the Wimbledon Championships in 2011 after refereeing for about seven years for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) alongside her job at the college. Goldson’s position at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) involves selecting, recruiting and managing the training of all the BBGs. The job as Ballboy/Ballgirl Manager involves working at the All England Club approximately one hundred days a year, including the Championships fortnight.
The college’s tennis players also benefit from Goldson’s involvement with Wimbledon as they have the opportunity to play during some of the training sessions so that the BBGs are able to practice their set pieces that they work on in insolation in actual match situations (tie break, ball change etc). This is Goldson’s third year in charge of the BBGs, she commented “It’s always a real privilege to be working at such a prestigious tournament. I particularly enjoy the week prior to the tournament as it is about finalising the teams for approximately 250 BBGs, completing final practices on grass and making the selections for teams who will be working on the show courts.” she added ” It’s also an opportunity to get a glimpse of the top players practising in the relevant quiet of the grounds before the public arrives on Monday.”
Dingwall completed his voluntary hours at Wimbledon
QMC Boys A team player Nick Dingwall completed his voluntary hours at Wimbledon for his Community Sports Leaders Award course, as part of the BBG team with Goldson. The BBGs were working at the Wildcard pre-qualifying event held over two days and Dingwall attended on the second day assisting with registering and supervising the BBGs to and from court as well as with general operational duties during the day. He also got to watch the British players in action and was able to learn about some of the key aspects of the BBGs on court work.
Goldson making decisions as BBG Manager
Goldson said “I am really looking forward to this year’s tournament and am confident that the Ballboys and Girls will do us proud. It will be great to see the College Tennis players at Wimbledon on Tuesday, as we got tickets for Court One on that day and most of them are coming.”