ATP World Tour appearance for 15-year-old Houghton

Matthew Houghton, 15, from Royston has been selected to be one of 30 Barclays Ball Kids at this year’s 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The youngster will fulfil the dream of a lifetime, winning the chance to appear on court with the world’s best tennis players in London this November at The O2.

Now in its fifth year, the Barclays Ball Kids programme is designed to thank and reward young people who help make the sport what it is. 30 lucky youngsters were selected from 100 trialists at last weekend’s national trial held at St George’s Park on 4th October, completing the final Barclays Ball Kids squad for 2014.

Houghton went through rigorous regional trials and the final national trial, competing with over 700 other young hopefuls to earn his place in the Barclays Ball Kid squad for 2014. He was selected by the Barclays Ball Kid talent ID team in recognition of his outstanding performance at the national trial at St Georges Park, where each entrant was tested on their agility, endurance, co-ordination, balance, speed, ball-skills, teamwork and leadership.

Houghton will join a squad of talented and energetic youngsters who will take to the court in front of thousands of spectators at The O2 in November, as well as millions of television viewers around the world. The squad of 30 will undergo an intensive five-day Barclays Ball Kids Base Camp at the end of October to perfect their skills before the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November.

David Wheldon, Barclays’ managing director of brand, reputation, citizenship and marketing, said: “Barclays Ball Kids is about giving young people with a passion for tennis a chance to learn new skills, meet new people and have an opportunity of a lifetime to appear on court with their heroes.

“Each and every one of the final Barclays Ball Kids squad for 2014 really lives what we would call the true spirit of the game. We are thrilled that Matthew has been selected for the final squad and we look forward to welcoming him to base camp later this month”

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The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which take place between November 9-16, has established itself as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the tennis calendar and showcases the best eight qualified male singles players and doubles teams on the planet with over a quarter of a million fans visiting The O2 during the week.

To find out more on Barclays Ball Kids, visit