Queen Mary’s College (QMC) PE teacher and tennis team manager Sarah Goldson has swapped her teacher duties for the next fortnight for her other role as manager of the Wimbledon ball boys and girls.
Alongside her job at the local college Goldson has been working as the Ballboy/Ballgirl Manager at the Wimbledon Championships since 2011 after referring for several years for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) alongside her teaching duties. 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.
On the even of this year’s event Goldson said “This is my fifth championships in charge of the ball boys and girls. It has once again been a busy year combining this role with my teaching post at QMC but I enjoy the challenge“.
Goldson starts training with the selected boys and girls in February at All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). Each prospective ball boy/girl will train once a fortnight and also attend four brief court training sessions at the covered courts before Easter and after the Easter break all training takes place at Wimbledon (mainly on the Covered Courts) and lasts until mid June apart from school holidays. 250 Ball Boys and Girls (BBGs) from around 700 applicants work at The Championships, Wimbledon and most of them spend two years as a BBG. Four teams of six selected to be responsible for Centre and No.1 Courts and six teams of six rotate around the other show courts.
“It is a real privilege to have this job and watch the selected candidates progress through training.” she added, “There are always tough decisions to make about who does and who does not progress through the programme but ultimately the sacrifices they make are thoroughly rewarded when they step on the world’s most famous courts.
The current college tennis team as well as ex-players/coaches 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 can practice their set pieces that they work on in insolation in actual match situations (tie break, ball change etc). The QMC tennis team will be at the Wimbledon today watching the action on Court Two and Centre Court, a great way for all the players to celebrate the end of the college tennis season with a day out at a Grand Slam event.
“Some of QMC’s players and ex tennis team, who are now coaches, have once again assisted by playing during some of the training sessions and it has been of great help. I am looking forward to seeing the BBGs on court tomorrow and like everyone am hoping for some sunshine.”
Play starts today at 1pm on Centre Court where top seed, world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic kicks off his 2016 campaign against Britain’s James Ward. British number one, second seed and 2013 champion Andy Murray will play his first round match against fellow Brit Liam Broady on Tuesday. For all the up-to-date Wimbledon information, daily schedule and results visit www.wimbledon.com
All photos used in this post are from the Totally Tennis blog archive.
For more information about this year’s Wimbledon Championships read previous post Tennis Talk: Brits at Wimbledon Preview