Australian Open And Vegemite Announce Mitey 2019 Ballkid Squad

MELBOURNE, December 12, 2018 (Press Release)

The Australian Open and Vegemite revealed the final 2019 Australian Open ballkid squad at Melbourne Park.

For the second year in a row Vegemite is on board as official Australian Open ballkids’ partner and will fuel the ballkids throughout their training and official duties.

The 360-strong ballkid squad today also premiered the new uniform for Australian Open 2019, debuting a brand-new Vegemite red t-shirt, navy shorts and the iconic legionnaire’s hat.

This year, the ballkid contingent includes 293 Victorians, 29 from interstate and 38 from overseas, which is the biggest international representation in the history of the Australian Open.

More than 3500 ballkid applications were received from across Australia and the Asia Pacific. The final squad of 360 were selected after months of extensive training and try-outs.

Ashleigh Barty, Australia’s top-ranked player and 2018 joint Newcombe medallist, will again partner with Vegemite for her Australian summer tennis campaign.

“I’m really enjoying my tennis right now and am proud of what I’ve been able to achieve in 2018.

“There’s no better feeling than playing in front of a home crowd and hopefully I bring some of the momentum into January for my Aussie fans.

“The support I got last year from the Vegemite Barty Army was really cool and I hope to see them back out on court again throughout the summer,” Barty continued.

“The Australian Open ballkids are among the most highly regarded in world tennis and an integral part of the continued success of our event,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.

“These terrific kids have great skills on the court and work as part of a close-knit team to ensure all our matches run smoothly and the players are looked after.

“The Australian Open Ballkid Program continues to go from strength to strength, offering these kids not just the chance to work closely with the world’s best athletes, but develop valuable life and leadership skills. Working with the world’s best athletes at one of the biggest global sporting events will give them memories they will cherish forever.

“We are delighted Vegemite has joined us again – this iconic Australian brand aligns perfectly with our family friendly event,” Tiley continued.

“This year Vegemite is dialling it up and will launch our very first Vegemite family food street café. We have taken over an iconic Melbourne tram with our new campaign slogan ‘Tastes Like Getting a Summer Job as a Ballkid’ and can’t wait to showcase Australia’s most loved spread to the world”, Marketing Director of Bega Foods and Vegemite Ben Hill adds.

“We hope to get Aussies and foreign visitors tasting and trialling Vegemite in as many unique or traditional ways as possible”.

“The Vegemite brand is focused on vitality, with Vegemite being one of the richest sources of B Vitamins. We are thrilled to again help fuel the AO ballkids in 2019.”

Some of the world’s best tennis players, including Roger Federer, and Australia’s own Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, were Ballkids before joining the professional ranks.

Applications for the Australian Open 2020 Ballkids program are now open at www.tennis.com.au/ballkids.