DARWIN, Australia - 14-time Grand Slam champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley launched the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival at the brand new Darwin International Tennis Centre in the Northern Territory on Monday.

Goolagong Cawley joined fellow tennis legend Todd Woodbridge, Tennis NT CEO Sam Gibson, Tennis NT’s Indigenous Program Manager Joe Kelly, Larrakia Nation chairman Richard Fejo and local Torres Strait Islander performers Upai Purri to introduce the exciting new event to the Top End, set to take place from 6 to 9 September 2018.

The annual National Indigenous Tennis Carnival will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture by bringing together thousands of individuals and groups to champion youth, art, food, and health through the delivery of tennis, music and cultural activities.

The four-day event is expected to see 180 participants from every state and territory and more than 3000 locals and tourists attend.

The local community is invited to be part of the action on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 September when a free community concert featuring a popular Indigenous music act will be held, with food trucks, markets and workshops on offer to the general public to get involved.

Goolagong Cawley said the National Indigenous Carnival was a fantastic way to bring tennis and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander culture together.

“Tennis Australia and the states will be working with Indigenous youth all around the country to help create pathways and opportunities for these players which is exciting,” Goolagong Cawley said.

“I was the first Aboriginal to play in top level tournaments and it’s great for me to see an increase in Indigenous youth playing these days.

“This carnival will celebrate these kids and bring everyone from around the country together.”

Tennis NT CEO Sam Gibson said today’s launch was a defining moment for Tennis NT.

“The National Indigenous Tennis Carnival is something Tennis NT is very proud to be hosting,” Gibson said. 

“Across the country there is a multitude of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tennis programs taking place, to be adding this event to the pathway for Indigenous youth is really exciting.

“We want to ensure the carnival has a legacy, not only for tennis in the Northern Territory but for the youth participating, the locals and tourists attending and for Indigenous people.

“We hope to create an event that is remembered for what happens both on and off the court and one that promotes the sharing of culture, health and wellbeing, inclusion and diversity.”