My sister, Tayla helped me out with two of the Challenges, by letting me serve balls at her; all my friends at Tennis Palmerston also helped me with Challenges, they even played tennis in the rain; and I started fundraising for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Mum uploaded it onto Facebook and Dad said he would wax his legs if I got to $2,000 ! Lots of people donated and dad got his legs waxed a few weeks later at work; it was very funny !
Then my tennis coaches, Daniel Parker and Sam Giess said they would shave their heads and legs if I raised $3,000. Off came the hair a few days later, hahaha ! I ended up raising $6,290.
When the lady from Tennis Australia called to tell me that I had won I was so excited that I started running around the house yelling “I am going to the Australian Open Finals” I had never been to Melbourne before.
We had a family holiday planned for the first week of the AO, so my family and I got to cheer on our AO Blitz player, Roberta Vinci from Italy in the first round. Unfortunately she didn’t win but she tried really hard.
One day Jarrod Kennedy (from the AO Blitz team) tricked me by saying he had a special pack for me but he didn’t, he got me to flip the coin for the David Ferrer and Jeremy Chardy match on Rod Laver Arena. It was so amazing because I got to walk past Serena Williams backstage, I was so scared and very excited!
I got to walk down the champions walk, it was so cool! I thought to myself how it would feel to walk down here one day, it would be amazing. The centre court was huge. I started to wonder how scary it would be for the players to play out there, but I guess they are used to it.
We came back home to Darwin and then mum and I had to fly back to Melbourne three days later. I even got to be on Weekend Sunrise. I was very nervous and excited, it was so cool. I got to meet the “Steggler man” and Anthony Minichello from the Sydney Roosters football team. I even got to eat turkey meatballs for breakfast on the show!
The Women’s final was great. I saw Li Na, she is awesome.
The Men’s final was unreal, I couldn’t believe I was at the Men’s final. There were so many people, and I was lucky enough to see Rafael Nadal up close, we had great seats!
I even got driven around in my own Kia car. That was so cool and they all knew my name. I had a really great time in Melbourne; Karen, Jarrod, Emma and Ben from Tennis Australia all looked after me really well. Thank you so much Tennis Australia for this wonderful experience.
Thank you to everyone who helped me win the AO Blitz by donating money and helping me complete Challenges.
And thanks to Daniel and Sam from Tennis Palmerston for being my coaches.
The AO Blitz was awesome, and I’m so glad I won! I can’t wait to try again this year!
Written by Jemma Gossow