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Future stars in the making: AO 2024 ballkid trials start this week


More than 1,000 kids aged 12 to 15 will participate in extensive trials over the coming weeks, aiming for selection as an official Australian Open ballkid for 2024.

While the world watches the best players in action at the AO, the other on-court heroes are the amazing AO ballkids who display their dazzling skills to thousands of fans in the stands, and millions watching the broadcast around the world.

As well as providing exceptional service to the players, and keeping the action moving, ballkids often end up in the spotlight when a classic catch, insect invasion, or accidental injury goes viral.

Level one trials will be held at 19 tennis clubs across Victoria during May and June, followed by level two trials for returning and successful level one ballkids on 8-9 July. 

First Nations ballkid trials will be conducted at the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival in Darwin from 10-13 August.

RELATED: Macy Peterson, Charlie Meadows named top AO 2023 ballkids

The final AO 2024 squad of around 400 ballkids will complete five on-court training sessions and an official induction and orientation day, where they will learn about the tournament and the important role they play. Training includes drills to develop ball handling skills, rolling with precision, and anticipating players’ needs. The final step is perfecting the march on and off court. 

On-court skills are mastered at the Blind and Low Vision Championships, Australian Wheelchair Tennis Nationals, Premier League, and December Showdown events in November and December. 

Many Australian Open ballkids have gone on to become sporting stars in their own right, including St Kilda Football Club’s Jack Billings, Carlton’s Darcy Vescio and more recently, North Melbourne’s Blake Drury.