Sutton school girl meets the Queen
It is game, set and match this summer for one Sutton school girl picked to be a Wimbledon ball girl and to present flowers to the Queen.
Marianna Spring, 14, is a pupil at Sutton High School but has bagged time off school to work as a ball girl at Wimbledon and last Thursday she was chosen to present a posy of flowers to the Queen.
She said: “I have absolutely no idea I why I was picked but maybe it’s because I am smaller than her and there aren’t many people who are.
“They were really pretty flowers and it was really nice to get to do it.
“She was very nice and said the flowers were lovely.
“The next day everyone kept calling up saying they had seen me on the television.”
To get the job as ball girl Marianna went through a series of selection processes, culminating in an X-Factor style elimination.
She said: “They chose schools in the area to put forward ball girls.
“Each school submitted a certain number of girls and then once training started they knocked out a few people.
“We had to do a lot of training like hand to eye co-ordination and trying to hit tins with tennis balls.
“I get to Wimbledon for about 10am everyday and leave at about 9.30pm, but we work in shifts once we are there.
“It’s quite hard work during games and a lot of exercise.”
Marianna has worked on some high profile games in the tournament so far.
She said: “I was the ball girl during the Venus and Serena Williams doubles match and also for Laura Robson but you don’t really get to speak to them.
“I was also on the longest-ever game on Wednesday, but luckily I didn’t have to work the whole game.”
So has the glamour of Wimbledon persuaded Marianna to take up tennis? It seems not.
She said: “I used to play tennis but I don’t play as much now, I prefer athletics really.”
Marianna Spring and the Moscow Times
2nd year undergraduate French and Beginners’ Russian student Marianna Spring has achieved journalistic success during her Year Abroad, regularly producing news stories for The Moscow Times.
Marianna is currently enrolled on a languages course for Ab Initio Russian students at a university in Yaroslavl’, a city 250km northeast of Moscow, where she lives with a host family.
Having previously written for the Cherwell, one of Oxford’s largest student publications, Marianna decided to build on her active interest in journalism by contacting the Editor of The Moscow Times. She subsequently secured a position as a reporter, writing regular news articles, some of which are derived from her own independent research.
‘So far, it has been a wonderful and incredibly interesting opportunity for a wannabe news journalist’, Marianna commented in correspondence with Pembroke. ‘For me, news stories reveal the essence of the issues facing a particular society, as well as their priorities and attitude.’
This month, Marianna has had articles published on such wide-ranging topics as the closure of the Russia-Norway border, a toddler casualty, protests regarding Leonardo DiCaprio, and a rescue mission of 40 fishermenfrom a drifting ice floe.
Immersing herself in the world of Russian journalism is, for Marianna, an alternative way of exploring the country’s culture: ‘My time at The Moscow Times is helping me to better understand those interests and values so central to Russia and its identity, at a time when it is under much scrutiny from both the West and East. It’s also giving me insight into how the press works here, in particular how it covers those more controversial news stories.’