Ella White: Junior Player Spotlight
East Metro Tennis Association is proud to have Ella White as a Junior Team Tennis Player.
Not only does Ella love to play tennis, she also loves volunteering to support the game. Ella has 3 younger sisters who also play tennis. For the younger players, court monitors are a must and older sister Ella gladly serves. This summer Ella took her volunteer work to a new level; she was a Ball Girl for the BB&T Atlanta Open.
On July 4th Ella and her family were at the Peachtree Road Race cheering Mom to the finish line, when the family spotted the BB&T Atlanta Open information table highlighting the need for volunteers. Ella was determined to get involved, and the job she wanted was that of a Ball Girl. Applying to volunteer for the tournament, which takes place in late July at Atlanta's Atlantic Station, was not easy. First, she and her mom hit several road blocks with "how" to volunteer. Once they found out who to talk to, they learned that as a 12 year old, Ella was too young to secure a Ball Girl position; however, because of her persistence and tennis experience, they let her try out.
After two days of tryouts, which consisted of timed drills such as running after balls, running back and forth along the net, rolling balls in a straight line, and tests to demonstrate her ability to keep score - she passed! Shew! Ella said one man in her group failed the tryout, and she was the only girl that earned a position for the tournament practice round. The "Ball Persons," as Ella reports is the official title, had a coach to keep things going who would "yell at you, if they didn't do your job correctly." Ella said it was not easy to squat at the net nor to stand still for long periods of time in the heat and wind. The volunteers worked 5 hour shifts. Her mother, Cinamon, and her father, Ben, volunteered for hospitality and security.
Ella said the atmosphere of the BB&T was "electric, alive and full of energy." She said that it was fun walking around Atlantic Station. The volunteers were given free ice cream and 2 entry tickets per volunteer. When asked, "Do you want to do it again?" Ella's answer was a big: "Yes!" Next year, the Atlanta Open will be July 30th - August 6th; more information can be found at bbtatlantaopen.com.
For now, Ella is working on her tennis game. She wants to keep playing tennis until, "I'm 99 or can't play anymore."