CAIRNS, Australia - World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and the Australian Tennis Foundation this week announced the latter's financial commitment of A$115,000 ($82, 851) over the next three years to fund Indigenous Tennis Programs in Queensland.
Roland Garros champion Barty, who has Ngarigo heritage, has been Tennis Australia's Indigenous Tennis Ambassador since 2018, and met with 20 Indigenous students at Cairns West State School to hit with them and take part in a Q&A session.
Take a look at @ashbarty's recent visit to Cairns as Indigenous Tennis Ambassador.— TennisAustralia (@TennisAustralia) August 6, 2020
Ash visited Cairns West State School, and the stunning Mossman Gorge, part of the Daintree Rainforest in @Queensland. #thisisqueensland pic.twitter.com/r9XojVwJy4
"This funding provides an opportunity, not just in tennis, but in education, and in experiences," said Barty.
"I think it’s incredible to see the pathways that are now available to Indigenous youth… and the opportunities they have to develop in whatever profession they choose. It's all about giving opportunity to Indigenous youth and providing pathways through tennis to show what our sport can do for our culture.
"It's really special to be able to give people of all ages that opportunity to grow and learn about how much sport has to offer in the way of connecting people and communities."
My favourite kind of day 🖤💛❤️ A really special trip to Cairns with so many smiling kids coming to say g’day 👋🏽 pic.twitter.com/Ys0xBX7Tyi— Ash Barty (@ashbarty) August 6, 2020
The ATF's funding will help programs that are designed to help young Indigenous people build resilience, using tennis as a vehicle to develop career and leadership skills.
"We are so lucky to have Ash as Tennis Australia’s Indigenous Tennis Ambassador, and to have her proudly supporting these programs," said ATF executive director Vicki Reid. "She is a true inspiration to all of us, and especially our Indigenous community."