31 August 2021 | Tennis West

As Ngarigo woman and world No.1 Ash Barty continues to make history on the global stage, Tennis West hosted the 2021 National Indigenous Tennis Carnival at the State Tennis Centre on Friday 20 August.

More than 80 students came together for the come and try day event, with participants from Clontarf Aboriginal College (Manning), Carmel Adventist College and Edmond Rice College (Bindoon), converging on the courts of the State Tennis Centre.

Rotating through five activity stations, participants enjoyed a variety of tennis-based activities, alongside cultural food demonstrations by Bindi Bindi Dreaming and cultural workshops by Urban Indigenous.

Supported by Tennis West Indigenous tennis engagement partner, Murlpirrmarra Connection, the West Australian based National Indigenous Tennis Carnival was designed to increase opportunities for Indigenous people to access tennis, and create sustainable playing and pathway options in consultation with our First Nations people.

The local event formed one of eight carnivals rolled out across Australia as part of a national celebration bringing Indigenous youth and coaches together, enabling more players to come and try the sport for the first time or further their skills, while learning about, and celebrating, First Nations culture.

“Tennis West continues to work towards ensuring inclusive playing opportunities for all,” Tennis West CEO, Brett Patten said.

”Through our indigenous engagement partner, Murlpirmarra Connection, tennis is being taken to some of the most regional and remote communities in all of Australia,”

“Hosting the 2021 National Indigenous Tennis Carnival at the State Tennis Centre was a wonderful opportunity to bring students together in what was a wonderful celebration of tennis and Indigenous culture,” Patten continued.

“The National Indigenous Tennis Carnival is a huge part of our broader Open4All strategy enabling more players from our vast community to access the positive benefits our sport can have,” Tennis Australia Chief Tennis and Members Officer, Tom Larner said.

“The Carnival allows us to continue to grow our pathway, and make tennis accessible for all communities and regions around the country, while ensuring we connect with our traditional owners to ensure our programs and pathways are sustainable and have meaningful impact.

“We are also incredibly lucky to have Evonne Goolagong Cawley, of Wiradjuri descent, and Ash Barty, of Ngarigo heritage, as ambassadors for our Indigenous community.

“Both Ash and Evonne are the only two Australian women to achieve the world No.1 singles ranking in the modern era, and we hope that through these events we can continue to ensure more Indigenous players can pick up a racquet if they want to just like Ash and Evonne,” Larner continued.