The Australian Tennis Foundation (ATF) announced $115,000 to fund Indigenous Tennis Programs in Queensland over the next three years. World number one and ATF ambassador Ashleigh Barty hopes this as a first initiative towards helping the Indigenous kids within the region.
Moreover, Ashleigh Barty said, “I think it’s incredible to see the pathways that are now available to Indigenous youth, 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.”
Additionally, Barty spends a week getting to know the Indigenous players that would help them develop through sports, where she swaps serves with a group of 20 students at Cairns West State School and goes on a walk through Mossman Gorge with six young players from the Cairns region.
Australian added that “It’s all about allowing the Indigenous youth and providing pathways through tennis to show them what our sport can do for our culture.”
She also said, “This funding provides an opportunity, not just in tennis, but in education and in experiences.”
Notably, Ash Barty withdrew from the upcoming US open 2020 due to travel concerns. It will begin at the end of this month in New York.
“Tennis is purely the vehicle for our Indigenous participants”- Program mentor Kieryn Lenoy
Moreover, coach Kieryn Lenoy who will be the mentor in this ATF program said. “There’s always been a lot of talk about growing the Indigenous space for tennis up in the Cairns region, so it’s great news that there is funding investment into this area.”
Lenoy also said, “Tennis is purely the vehicle for our Indigenous participants, If we can get them on board with playing tennis we’d look to provide a holistic approach to supporting them in their pathway through life.”
However, no matter how well these Indigenous players have been taught to play, Ms. Lenoy wants to make sure to mold these children into incredible human beings.