Only two days before the world’s best tennis players step on court at Australian Open 2013 it’s the kids who will own Melbourne Park for Kids Tennis Day 2013 (KTD2013).
Over 8000 youngsters and their parents are expected to take part in the huge array of activities on Saturday 12 January as Tennis Australia joins forces with Nickelodeon.
“Kids Tennis Day has fast become one of the feature dates on the Australian Open calendar. We are excited to be taking the event to the next level and presenting our biggest and best program of events ever in 2013,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
“As well as showcasing our major participation program, MLC Tennis Hot Shots, and providing awesome on-court experiences, we will give away 500 racquets throughout the day, encouraging more kids to get involved in our great sport.”
KTD2013 features a range of activities aimed at promoting MLC Tennis Hot Shots (MLCTHS), Tennis Australia’s junior development program. MLCTHS uses modified equipment including low-compression balls, small racquets and customised mini courts providing youngsters with a seamless transition into tennis.
MLCTHS stations will be set up on the day to allow kids to play on the same courts as the best players in the world.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of KTD2013 is the Rod Laver Arena Spectacular, which features a live performance from international pop star Guy Sebastian, alongside an on-court showcase from some of the world's best players. Last year saw Novak Djokovic, Kim Clijsters, Rafael Nadal and Sam Stosur hit the court. The Spectacular kicks off at noon and will be hosted by popular Nickelodeon duo Luke and Wyatt.
MLCTHS leader Craig Morris said KTD2013 is a great way to boost youngsters’ interest level in tennis.
“Kids Tennis Day gives families the chance to enjoy free tennis events and entertainment as we count down to Australian Open 2013,” Morris said.
“It is designed to introduce children to the sport in a fun, friendly environment and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of children through the gates here at Melbourne Park next month.”
Other KTD2013 activities include:
- Live performances by Nickelodeon characters SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Starfish, Dora the Explorer and Diego
- Special appearances by Dorothy the Dinosaur and Captain Feathersword
- A meet-and-greet with some of the world’s best tennis players at MLC Autograph Island
- 500 tennis racquets to be given away throughout the day
- The chance to be photographed with the coveted Australian Open trophies
- Face painting and activity zones
Gates open at 8.30am and entry is free.
To find out more, visit Kids Tennis Day.