Update: Princess Kate Plays Tennis With Roger Federer Ahead Of Wimbledon
The Princess of Wales has made no secret of her love of sport, especially tennis, so it’s not surprising she is shining a light on the unsung heroes involved in the game. Kate, who is patron of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, has joined forces with legendary tennis player and eight-time Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer to celebrate Wimbledon’s

The Princess of Wales has made no secret of her love of sport, especially tennis, so it’s not surprising she is shining a light on the unsung heroes involved in the game. 

Kate, who is patron of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, has joined forces with legendary tennis player and eight-time Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer to celebrate Wimbledon’s Ball Boys and Girls (BBGs) and the training that goes into becoming a BBG at The Championships in a short YouTube film. 

In the film, which was recorded at Wimbledon in June, Her Royal Highness is seen visiting the All England Club with the tennis champ to meet returning and prospective BBGs and hear about their experiences in training for the role. 

The film sees Kate take part in a doubles rally with Roger on the No.3 Court before she joins the BBGs on court to participate in a training session. Together, Kate, Roger and the BBGs discuss what it’s like to be a BBG, the experience of going through the training programme and the lasting impacts of the skills learned. 

Speaking during the film about the skills you learn during BBG training, Kate said: “Wimbledon is renowned for its amazingly professional Ball Boys and Ball Girls, the amount of work it takes, it’s incredible to see it behind the scenes.” 

She added: “With all the discipline and everything you’ve learned, you’ll be able to take it into so many other parts of your life, things like confidence and that feeling of pride with being on any of the courts is such a big moment.” 

Following the rally, the Princess and Roger go to the All England Club’s Indoor Tennis Centre, where a training session for prospective BBGs is taking place. 

Sharing his own admiration for the Ball Boys and Girls, Roger said during filming: “This is proper practice; I’m really impressed at how much effort and training goes into being a ball kid during The Championships. I used to be a ball kid in Basel when I was 9 or 10 and as I have always said: Once a ball kid always a ball kid.” 

The Princess and Roger also meet Sarah Goldson, a BBG Manager, and observe the session to learn about the different skills that are being perfected and hear from prospective BBGs about their experiences of the training. 

The film ends with Kate and Roger taking part in the session by shadowing the BBGs before a final group photograph. 

Each year, around 1000 applicants, aged 13-15, from local schools take part in training sessions at the All England Club’s Community Tennis Centre in Raynes Park. 

Approximately 250 BBGs eventually take to the courts at Wimbledon following several months of regimented training sessions, learning a variety of skills from signaling to ball changes, rolling balls up to the net and the correct techniques to bounce the balls to players. 

The final cohort of BBGs that are selected is comprised of approximately 170 new participants, with around 80 BBGs returning from previous years. 

Speaking about the film, Sarah Goldson, BBG Manager, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Her Royal Highness and Roger Federer to Wimbledon to see and experience what it takes to be a BBG at Wimbledon. 

“We’re really proud of the young people who dedicate so much time and effort to their role which plays an integral part in delivering successful Championships.” 

The Championships 2023 will take place from the 3 – 16 July with the film being played throughout The Championships on the iconic Hill, to those in the queue and around the grounds.

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