Robbie will be ball boy

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Portraits

A lucky tennis fan from the borough has taken a step closer to fulfilling the dream of a lifetime by making it through to the finals to be a ball boy for the World Tour Finals.

Thirteen-year-old Robbie Brasington, from Longbenton, was among nearly 50 children that took part in the Barclays Ball Kids Regional Selection Trials held at the Wearside Health and Racquets Club. He’s now in with a chance of being a ball boy at this year’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals held at The O2 in London in November.

Robbie, who goes to St. Mary’s Comprehensive School, said: “I’d love to be a Barclays Ball Kid because I want to see what it’s like to be a professional tennis player on the court and see it first hand.

“The ball kids are the closest people to the players so you can learn a lot. My Dad told me about the trial so I signed up straight away as I thought it would be fun.

“If I was picked for the final squad I would be ecstatic – I don’t know if I will get through but it would be amazing if I did, I would feel like a professional.”

Head trainer of the Barclays Ball Kids Talent ID team, Mark Magrath, said: “We always have huge competition between the children in this area and today was no exception.

“It just goes to show that hard work pays off and the ones that stood out were the kids that listened, took on board what it means to be a Barclays Ball Kid and put this in to practice.”

Now in its fourth year, the national search is part of Barclays ongoing sponsorship of the event and aims to find thirty children aged between 12 and 16 to join the world’s top eight tennis players and star as Barclays Ball Kids at the 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.