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That Wimbeldon ball boys/girls are exploited and treat like shit

(180 Posts)
Inkanta Wed 08-Jul-15 05:29:27

I don't think they should be expected to pass towels to players after each point and when the player wipes the sweat off his face and walks around the court, have to face the player and walk backwards, waiting to be thrown the sweat soaked towel, sometimes viscously at their face. One ball girl was in tears yesterday after being yelled after by Novak-Djokovic. Can't be right surely.

whitecandles Wed 08-Jul-15 05:35:25

Djokovic said he was going to apologise to the ball girl.

I just can't get worked up about this. They get to watch hours of professional sport, great work experience...they're not being sent down mines, they just have to deal with a slightly minging towel.

LittleMissIntrovert Wed 08-Jul-15 05:38:41

I don't really watch Wimbledon, but I do think it's quite old fashioned when they do that. I know it's nice to be traditional, but likewise some things are outdated, and kids don't deserve to be shouted out.

Even if he does apologise, that child will always remember that. I still remember how upset I was when my swimming teacher really shouted at me about 30 years ago

Nromanoff Wed 08-Jul-15 05:47:26

If you are going to work around sports people, while they are playing....there will be yelling. It's not ok, but it happens. However him yelling at her has nothing to do with how they hand towels out etc.

Him yelling at her is not on. All the other stuff is a bit 'meh' , it's not doing them any harm and they don't HAVE to be do it. No one is forcing them.

startwig1982 Wed 08-Jul-15 05:48:08

I think they get a lot out of it. It's very competitive to get a place. Holding a minging towel is not that arduous a task, really.

EdithWeston Wed 08-Jul-15 05:48:58

He was in trouble for this is Miami.

I hadn't noticed he'd done it again at Wimbledon.

There are sanctions for abusing staff. They need to be activated.

It's very competitive to become a ball boy or girl for Wimbledon; they are selected from schools across S London, train hard for their role and are well looked after. They do have a standard way of performing the tasks the players are allowed to ask them to do. This is so that there is utter consistency, and a player cannot claim unfair distraction.

Inkanta Wed 08-Jul-15 05:57:31

'Holding a minging towel is not that arduous a task, really.'

But you'd think health and safety in the work place would have something to say about that. Shouldn't they wear gloves for their own protection?

AuntieStella Wed 08-Jul-15 06:04:29

"You have to deal with the towel, which has to be presented to the player, completely flat,” she explains, before adding, dreamily: “I’ll be handling Nadal’s sweat.”"

Seems to be considered a perk!

sarkymare Wed 08-Jul-15 06:04:35

Protection against what?

BistoBear Wed 08-Jul-15 06:05:39

Gloves for protection from a sweaty towel?! What do you think they are going to catch from someone's sweat? hmm

ajandjjmum Wed 08-Jul-15 06:06:01

Oh dear. Kids compete for these positions, as it is considered to be a prestigious thing to do. Can't say I'd love doing it now, but at 15 I might have done.

It's comments like that Inkanta that give H & S a bad name - what are they likely to catch from sweat?

Nromanoff Wed 08-Jul-15 06:18:50

Protection from a sweaty towel? Sorry op, Yabu, completely. No one is forced to do this and the ones that do, really want to do it.

Kids aren't as delicate as you imagine

Inkanta Wed 08-Jul-15 06:22:56

'Gloves for protection from a sweaty towel?! What do you think they are going to catch from someone's sweat?:

Sarkymare - viral infections are transmitted through sweat.

whitecandles Wed 08-Jul-15 06:33:07

Right, so let's all stop shaking hands, sharing beds, taking public transport and interacting with other people at all ever. Unless there is a sudden spike in infectious disease amongst Wimbledon ball girls/boys, I can't see why you'd care.

hesterton Wed 08-Jul-15 06:35:55

You might catch the fitness... <wonders if you can be a ball girl in your 50s...>

googoodolly Wed 08-Jul-15 06:39:02

"gloves for protection" grin

So, do you never shake hands, brush past people in the street or on public transport, use public transport, share a bed with anyone? They compete massively for this job and they get really disappointed if they're not chosen. They're not there under duress!

sarkymare Wed 08-Jul-15 06:40:26

I wonder if personal trainers get danger pay?

MargoReadbetter Wed 08-Jul-15 06:41:10

Being shouted at is wrong. You wouldn't accept it from a teacher or a stranger so it shouldn't matter who the prick is.

IME there's nothing competitive about the selection for the ball girl/boy position. Unless you count 'selection' by the headteacher without any clear selection criteria. That may have been just my DCs school.

Inkanta Wed 08-Jul-15 06:42:44

And we're not just talking sweat excretions here - it's blood, sweat, snot and tears, and getting the towel thrown at you every 2 minutes - for up to 3 hours of a match.

Can't imagine adults doing that - being towel slaves.

bittapitta Wed 08-Jul-15 06:48:20

But they don't just deal with towels. Hence their name. You are overreacting OP. I thought many of them were amateur tennis players anyway so it must be a great experience for them.

Nromanoff Wed 08-Jul-15 06:50:20

Towel slaves? Are you joking?

Actually I can imagine many adults wanting to do this.

I take a towel to the gym. While you can wipe equipment down and staff sanitise it during the day. Sweat can fling everywhere. I have never caught anything from being in a small confined space with 20 sweaty people. Get a grip.

EdithWeston Wed 08-Jul-15 06:50:44

I thought getting the HT recommendation is the easy bit. There are about 700 of them made. But only 250 make it to the end of training.

ajandjjmum Wed 08-Jul-15 06:51:40

It is competitive Margo - they go through something like an 8 month selection programme, when the hundreds of successful applicants are reduced to less than 200 through various training programmes.

So if you don't like catching snotty towels, you'll be found out well before Wimbledon! grin

SirPercyPilkington Wed 08-Jul-15 06:53:33

I'd love to see a ball boy/girl flounce off after being talked to rudely.
The Daily Mail would be all over that.

MargoReadbetter Wed 08-Jul-15 06:55:23

I was referring to the 'selection' process from the local schools. Or at least the school my DCs went to. There was nothing competitve or open about it. I don't know from that point onwards. Perhaps that British deference for the rich, the royals and the celebs would be a huge advantage.

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