Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt will join tennis great Evonne Goolagong-Cawley at an Indigenous come and try day at Gordonvale this Monday (18 June).
Mr Pitt said Tennis Australia and Tennis Queensland, in conjunction with the Evonne Goolagong Foundation and the Australian Government’s Learn Earn Legend Initiative, have joined forces to promote tennis in Indigenous communities, schools and for Indigenous players across Australia.
“The Learn Earn Legend! message encourages and supports young Indigenous Australians to stay at school, get that job and be a legend for themselves, their family and their community,” Mr Pitt said.
“Coaches are looking for kids who display enthusiasm, determination and a willingness to improve themselves given half a chance.
“Some youngsters from each Indigenous Tennis Come and Try day may be selected to receive equipment and further coaching. With agreements from their parents or guardian, these boys and girls will be encouraged and expected to attend their school and their tennis sessions.
“This will give them the opportunity to be selected to attend a joint Goolagong/Tennis Australia State Development Camp held in October and November.
“Participants at the State Camp level may also be chosen to attend the Goolagong National Development Camp held in Melbourne each January during the first week of the Australian Open.
“Since 2005, the National Camp has awarded 19 school scholarships, produced tennis coaches, sports administrators, university scholars and has helped with employment placement. Participants also have the opportunity to access Tennis Australia’s elite programs.”
Mr Pitt who is also Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships said the Learn Earn Legend! program addresses three key Closing the Gap targets on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reform.
“To halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for Indigenous children within a decade.
“To halve the gap for Indigenous students in year 12 equivalent attainment by 2020.
“And to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade.”