Bendigo’s Olivia O’Meara’s four years as an Australian Open ballkid couldn’t have ended on a better note after she was named joint-most outstanding ballkid of this year’s tournament.
O’Meara, 15, shared the award with Dylan Colaci from Viewbank and each were awarded a trophy, $1000 and the opportunity to be ballkids for the men’s and women’s finals at the weekend.
O’Meara, who was also on court at Rod Laver Arena during last year’s women’s final, said she was honoured to receive the joint award.
“It’s so exciting, I can’t believe it,” O’Meara said after the award was announced. “This is my fourth year as a ballkid and to end it all with the women’s and men’s finals this weekend will be amazing.”
The ballkid awards are presented to the ballboy and ballgirl who have demonstrated exceptional performance and conduct on and off the court.
“Dylan and Olivia were the most consistent on-court performers throughout the tournament, but we also take into account their off-court behaviour and the way they have conducted themselves at the event,’ ballkids manager Darren Sturgess said.
“Both Dylan and Olivia are part of our leadership group so it’s really fitting they have received this honour.
“They’re hard workers, they do the right thing and they give it their all when they’re out on court, as well as setting a great example for the kids who are going to come through and take their place next year.”
O’Meara and Colaci were part of a 380-strong group of ballkids at the Australian Open from across Australia, China and Koriea.
Four ballkids from central Victoria took part in this year’s event – O’Meara, Brian O’Donoghue, Simon Dundas and Emma Webb.