Ash Barty a ‘true champion’, Australian tennis legend Goolagong Cawley says  Before Ashleigh Barty was making headlines as world number one, Wiradjuri woman Evonne Goolagong Cawley was taking out Grand Slam titles and setting records in the 1970s and early 1980s    The Australian tennis legend was in Darwin on Thursday to launch the 2019 National Indigenous Tennis Carnival and had some kind words for her fellow trailblazing tennis player  “It’s big, it’s huge, to have a role model like her,” Cawley said. “I mean, even the young people that have come through my program they’re actually the coaches now, so they’re the role models too. But to have an actual professional tennis player out there, an Indigenous one, first one since me, it makes them very proud and even the boys look up to her ” Barty was the first Australian woman to hold the number one ranking since Cawley in 1976 ‘That’s it, she’s got it’ Cawley said she had been following Barty’s career since the beginning and counted her as a friend    “I saw her when she was about 15 years old and I just watched her play one point and I thought that’s it, she’s got it and she’s proven it to me all the way through,” she said  “She is the second Indigenous person to actually win a grand slam and she’s proved to all these kids out there that hey, they can do it too if they work hard ” But when it comes to handing out advice following Barty’s bow-out in the fourth round of Wimbledon, Cawley kept it casual  “She’s a true champion on and off the court.”    Cawley was joined by Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka, Tennis NT chief executive Sam Gibson and Indigenous programs manager Joe Kelly in announcing the second edition of the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival  Ms Hrdlicka said the carnival was a great way to bring Indigenous players from around the country together  “”We’re proud of the role that we’re playing in bringing together Indigenous kids from across the country, so every single state and Territory in Australia will contribute kids to come to the carnival to engage in the sport, to be a part of a community that is much bigger than the position they have in their individual families, to be a part of something special,” she said  “And to celebrate what tennis really brings to everyone, which is a sense of culture, a sense of inclusion and a diverse sport that is the very best of athletes across the country no matter your origins, no matter your background ” In its first year the carnival became the nation’s largest-ever gathering of Indigenous tennis players, with more than 200 participants from every state and territory taking part  The four-day celebration will take place from August 29 to September 1, 2019.

Tagged : # # # # # # # # # # #

Dennis Veasley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *