Australian tennis legend and former Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald will head to Wudinna Tennis Club on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia tomorrow as part of an initiative designed to unite drought affected communities through tennis.
Born in Cockaleechie, a small town just south of Wudinna, and with relatives still running the family farm, Fitzgerald understands the importance of bringing people together through sport and supporting communities during difficult times.
“The drought has exacted a huge emotional toll on farmers, their families and whole rural communities,” Fitzgerald said.
“I know when I was growing up sport was the lifeblood of our town, and I’ve seen how sport, and tennis, still performs a vital role in communities across our great country. Sport plays a major role in the social fabric of the community and is so often the reason people come together.
“If we can help provide some light relief and bring people together through tennis, particularly when there is such hardship, then hopefully we can make a difference and have a positive impact on the lives of these hard working people.”
The Wudinna Tennis Club community fun day celebration will include a school carnival, ANZ Tennis Hot Shots, a barbecue lunch plus a range of activities and entertainment for the whole family.
Tennis Australia’s drought relief project involves an initial eight clubs across Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. The clubs will host a series of free events to encourage communities to come together, have fun and remind people they are not alone during times of adversity.
The magnificent Australian Open trophies – the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup will be on display during the event.
The following towns will host community celebrations over April and May:
In line with the Joint Agency Drought Taskforce led by Major General Stephen Day, Tennis Australia will support and prioritise initiatives in communities that are facing particularly challenging times.
Through the National Court Rebate Program (NCRP) we can ensure that community assets and infrastructure are in place to be able to bring the community together through the power of tennis.