21 May 2019 | Tennis Australia

A five-strong Indigenous team has been selected to represent Australia in competition at the 2019 Fiji Open this week, from Wednesday 22 May to Sunday 26 May.

Corey Clarke (Laurieton, NSW), Toby Radford (Bairnsdale, Vic), Kaecia Beattie (Oxley Vale, NSW), Mikayla Zahirovic (Mount Low, Qld) and Lily Pade (Coffs Harbour, NSW) make up the all-Indigenous team, led by coach Anzac Leidig (Sawtell, NSW). They will face more than 170 players from across the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

The Fiji Open opportunity is part of Tennis Australia’s broader Indigenous initiative and aims  to provide a more structured competition pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players.

Seventeen-year-old Mikayla Zahirovic won the inaugural National Indigenous Tennis Carnival 18/u competition in Darwin last October, and was awarded the Evonne Goolagong Medal of Excellence. Toby Radford was runner up in the boys’ 18/u event.

“These opportunities are so important to  Indigenous players like myself as it’s not every day we get to travel overseas to play a sport that we love,” Zahirovic said.

“It’s an awesome opportunity for us to be able to showcase all the hard work we’ve put into training both on-and-off the court.

“This is my first time going overseas for a tennis tournament and I’m really looking forward to playing and seeing all my hard work pay off and to be representing not only myself but Indigenous Australians and making my family proud.”

All members of the team have been a part of the Evonne Goolagong Foundation tennis program. Team coach Anzac Leidig is Head Coach and Project Coordinator of the foundation.

Full Team

Name Age Suburb/State
Corey Clarke 18 Laurieton, NSW
Toby Radford 17 Bairnsdale, Vic
Kaecia Beattie 16 Tamworth, NSW
Mikayla Zahirovic 17 Townsville, Qld
Lily Pade 17 Coffs Harbour, NSW


More tournament details available here: http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/