Sport

Living legend coming to Grafton

Tennis champion Evonne Goolagong-Cawley poses with her Wimbledon trophies at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
Tennis champion Evonne Goolagong-Cawley poses with her Wimbledon trophies at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

A YOUNG Evonne Goolagong was peering through the fence at her local tennis courts at Barellan when a player named Bill Kurtzman saw her and asked if she would like to join in.

That one small act of kindness set off a chain of events that dramatically changed Goolagong's life, and the shape of Australian sport, forever.

In an outstanding playing career that included two Wimbledon titles, four Australian Opens and a French Open, Goolagong became a household name and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and honoured as Australian of the Year.

Now she is coming to Grafton to hold a tennis clinic for local indigenous students.

"I was very lucky to have been given those early opportunities and have the local people rally around me to help me start my career," Goolagong-Cawley said.

"I still remember the local tennis club holding fundraisers and farmers driving me to and from neighbouring towns so I could play competitions.

"There's no doubt that those small things made a huge difference to my life and I am forever thankful to those who were so kind to me as a young girl."

With her first dream of a Wimbledon title under her belt, Goolagong-Cawley has become a tireless worker in chasing her new dream.

"I want to see as many indigenous kids as possible play tennis, finish school and become great role models," she said.

"It is something I am very passionate about. I truly believe that tennis, and sport in general, can make a huge difference to young Aboriginal people's lives."

It was only natural then, that the Evonne Goolagong Foundation would team with the Learn, Earn, Legend initiative to give indigenous children an incentive to stay in school.

Goolagong-Cawley will be in Grafton on Thursday to conduct a tennis Come and Try Day for local indigenous students aged between five and 15 years old.

"It's all about getting out and having some fun on the tennis court, but the program is also about using tennis as a vehicle for education," she said.

"The reason I chose to come back to Grafton was the great reception I had at the Clarence Ahead dinner in January and the contacts I made there during the visit.

"I have to say a huge thanks to Beris Duroux, the local Aboriginal Education co-ordinator, for her terrific help in organising the event.

"We are expecting up to 100 kids to turn up on Thursday and it should be a great, fun afternoon of tennis."

Goolagong-Cawley is also keen to meet local Aboriginal elders and parents of the kids and has invited all to come to the courts for a sausage-sizzle lunch.

"Everyone is welcome. I look forward to talking with some of the senior members of the community, as well as the kids," she said.

"The Learn, Earn, Legend program is all about getting kids to stay at school, get that job and be a legend for their community."

QUICK FACTS

WHAT: Come and Try Tennis clinic for indigenous students aged 5-15.

WHERE: Grafton City Tennis Courts

WHEN: Thursday from 10.30am-3pm.

WHO: Tennis champions Evonne Goolagong and Roger Cawley

WHY: Learn, Earn, Legend campaign for Aboriginal education

Topics:  career, grafton, tennis




Lovin' and scrubbin' best friends to help local family

Lahnie Shannon-Good with "Duke" in the Love'm Scrub'm grooming salon.

A local dog washing business helps a family through tough times.

Confirmed: Rivers comes running back to Grafton

Boxing Day Fun: The public goes wild at Rivers.Photo: Rob Wright / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Rivers to take up 400 sq m of retail space in Grafton Shoppingworld.

Yamba to chase holy grail on home soil

The Yamba Men's Bowling Club number 3 Pennant side is ready to defend home turf as the State Bowls Titles are held in Yamba and Maclean this weekend.

Lower Clarence clubs hosts No.3 State Pennants finals

Latest deals and offers

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Dyer returns to Grafton after Lifetime release

BACK IN TOWN: Melanie Dyer plays the Clocktower on Friday night at 8.30pm.

The Voice 2012 contestant is heading to the Clocktower Hotel

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started