Thousands of families attended the fourth annual Kids Tennis Day presented by Nickelodeon at Melbourne Park today ahead of Australian Open 2016. The sold-out event was headlined by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Milos Raonic and Lleyton Hewitt, who served up the fun with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Rod Laver Arena Spectacular.
The Ninja-themed event, hosted by Nickelodeon’s Rahart Adams, was a culmination of ballkids, dancers, acrobats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the world’s best tennis players. Ahead of his 20th Australian Open campaign, Lleyton Hewitt flexed his super skills when he played against four young players from the audience, showcasing exactly what Kids Tennis Day was about.
“Kids Tennis Day is about engaging, introducing and educating the next generation about tennis and the Australian Open in a fun, relaxed way,” Hewitt said.
“I was fortunate enough to be involved in the game at a young age, receiving coaching, playing at a club and visiting the Australian Open every year.
“I made a point of spending time around the practice courts watching the big names go about their business. It was fun and enjoyable and that is the best way for parents to approach their children playing, by making sure they enjoy themselves as it will help them to learn easily.”
On the outside courts, kids and families were able to meet their favourite Nickelodeon characters – SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and PAW Patrol, play ANZ Tennis Hot Shots with qualified coaches; see Nickelodeon stage shows; watch players practice; and visit Grand Slam Oval ahead of the tournament’s first day on Monday.
From Monday, 18 January, families will be able to enjoy the free kids’ playground “Kids’ World” as part of the Australian Open Festival at Birrarung Marr. The playground will include giant Nickelodeon inflatable playgrounds, meet and greets with characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Nickelodeon’s signature slime at the world famous Slime Lab.
Kids can also download the All Stars Tennis App to test their tennis skills against characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and climb the All Stars Tennis ranks from Rookie to World Champion. The app is available to download on iOS and Android.