Aspiring First Nations players are set to start their tennis journey following in the footsteps of their Indigenous tennis heroes, Grand Slam champions Ash Barty and Evonne Goolagong Cawley, when the third edition of the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival starts in Darwin, Northern Territory next week.
The largest number of participants in the history of the event will gather at the Darwin International Tennis Centre from 11 to 14 August 2022, with 20 players hailing from NSW.
Bringing together 230 players from every state and territory, the carnival will feature two streams – one for general participation and another for competition, in both the 14/u and 18/u age groups.
Off court a variety of culturally immersive experiences will take place over the four days, including a community concert featuring Indigenous electronic music duo Electric Fields from 5.30pm Friday 12 August. Tickets are $15 via Eventbrite.
Goolagong Cawley said the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival is a fantastic way to bring tennis and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander cultures together.
“It’s a dream come true to be part of this National Indigenous Tennis Carnival and to see how tennis can have such a positive impact on communities and do so much good,” Goolagong Cawley said.
“The celebration of culture, improving the health and wellbeing of everyone involved and promoting education are all so important to me.
“It is wonderful to see kids of all ages enjoying the sport I love so much – whether discovering it for the first time or having the opportunity to develop and improve their skills.
“Tennis Australia and the states are working with Indigenous youth all around the country to help create pathways and opportunities for these players which is exciting.
“This carnival will celebrate these kids and bring everyone from around the country together.”
“Since the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival was introduced in 2018 it has played an integral role in our tennis participation strategy, providing opportunities for young First Nations people to pick up a racquet and become involved in the sport,” Tennis Australia Chief Tennis Officer Tom Larner said.
“As well as being a vital opportunity to introduce a love of tennis and competition, the carnival is also a celebration of the rich culture of First Nations people.”
In the lead up to this year’s carnival, state based Indigenous tennis events have been hosted across the country, encouraging participation and skill development ahead of the national event in Darwin.
The Evonne Goolagong Medal of Excellence and the Ash Barty Cup will be awarded at the conclusion of the carnival.
The players representing NSW at the event in 2022 are:
- Jayden Budda-Deen
- Jack Goodwin
- Isaac Elson
- Sophie Foster
- Brienna Naden
- Ruby Pade
- Jasmine Beetson
- Ben Goodwin
- Asia Khan
- Quincy Khan
- Jacob Slade
- Noah Baylis
- Joshua Elson
- Mahala Hitchings
- Mackenzie Naden
- Maddison Honeyman
- Aiden Beetson
- Chloe Beetson
2022 National Indigenous Tennis Carnival schedule
|Thursday 11 August|
|5.30 pm||National Indigenous Tennis Carnival participants arrive
Welcome to Country and Opening Ceremony at Darwin International Tennis Centre
|Friday 12 August|
|9.30am||National Indigenous Tennis Carnival commences and tennis matches begin|
|5.30pm||Community concert featuring Indigenous electronic music duo Electric Fields. Tickets are $15 via Eventbrite|
|Saturday 13 August|
|9.00 am||Tennis matches continue at National Indigenous Tennis Carnival|
|4.00 pm||14/u and 18/u Tennis Finals commence|
|Sunday 14 August|
|9.00 am||Presentations and Closing Ceremony|