PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Calling all ball kids! The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Freedoms World TeamTennis (WTT) are getting into the swing by hosting Philadelphia tryouts for ball kids on Wednesday, June 8 at 4 p.m. at the Parkside Evans Playground, 5290 Parkside Ave. (near the Mann Music Center) in Fairmount Park for the 2011 summer season.
The Philadelphia Freedoms and the City of Philadelphia officials are inviting all tennis-loving kids and teens, ages 10 to 16, to pre-register and to participate in a tryout. Participants will be judged based on speed, agility, reaction time, throwing and basic tennis knowledge. Selected ball kids will be a part of a prestigious group that will have the opportunity to participate at Freedoms home matches during this summer’s World Team Tennis Pro League events at the Pavilion at Villanova University.
Kids will get to see stars from the world of tennis up close. The first home match is July 6 against the Washington Kastles starring Venus Williams. As a bonus, each ball kid will receive one complimentary Philadelphia Freedoms’ tennis ticket for every match he or she works.
Celebrity judges include Mayor Michael A. Nutter, famed tennis great and owner of the Freedoms, Billie Jean King, and CBS3 sports anchor Beasley Reece. The original World TeamTennis league was co-founded by Billie Jean King in 1974. WTT is the only professional co-ed team sport in the United States.
“Joining Billie Jean King and her Philadelphia Freedoms team as a ball kid is a rare opportunity for any young person in the Philadelphia area,” said Mayor Nutter. “They can be part of professional tennis, see world-class players at court level, and keep the traditions of this wonderful sport alive in Philadelphia, the home of one of the original teams in World TeamTennis.”
For the first time in its 12-year history, there will be two tryouts: one in the city and the other in the suburbs. The suburban tryout will be on Saturday, June 4, from noon to 1 p.m., inside the King of Prussia Mall outside of Macy’s. These events are the kickoff to an exciting summer season of tennis and a dynamic partnership between the City of Philadelphia — through the Office of the Mayor and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation — and the Philadelphia Freedoms.
Registering in advance for tryouts is required. To find out more information about ball kid participation, or to register to try out, visit www.phila.gov. The first 100 kids to sign up and attend the tryouts will receive a free Philadelphia Freedoms tee shirt. All selected participants will have a chance to try out with the staff of the Philadelphia Freedoms. For more information about the Philadelphia Freedoms, visit www.philadelphiafreedoms.com.
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