ITV News' David Harper reports on the princess' visit to the All England Club
The Princess of Wales has appeared alongside tennis legend Roger Federer in a video shining a spotlight on Wimbledon's ball boys and girls (BBGs).
The pair paid a visit to the All England Club, in Wimbledon, to meet returning and prospective BBGs and hear about their experiences in training for the role.
The film sees The Princess take part in a doubles rally with Federer on No.3 Court before Her Royal Highness joins the BBGs on court to participate in a training session.
Together, The Princess, Roger Federer and the BBGs discuss what it's like to take on the role and the experience of going through the training programme.
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, southwest London.
Approximately 250 eventually take to the courts at Wimbledon following several months of regimented training sessions, learning a variety of skills from signalling to ball changes, rolling balls up to the net and the correct techniques to bounce the balls to players.
The final cohort that are selected are comprised of approximately 170 new participants, with around 80 returning from previous years.
Sarah Goldson, All England Club's 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 a successful Championships.”
Federer said: “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 nine or 10 and as I have always said: once a ball kid always a ball kid.”
Speaking about the skills she learnt during 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.
"With all the discipline and everything you’ve learnt, 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."
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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