FOUR star siblings from Koondoola have aced their way to the 2019 National Indigenous Tennis Carnival in Darwin.
Andrew (14), Angel (12), Malakai (13) and Xavier (11) Dickie are among 10 of the state’s most promising junior tennis players selected to compete as two representative teams in the Fast4 Green Ball Teams Competition.
The under-18 team event aims to provide a platform for up and coming Indigenous tennis players to transition from participation to the tournament stream.
Running for a second consecutive year, the carnival is a four-day celebration of tennis and culture from August 29.
Players will also be vying to be crowned the National Indigenous Tennis champion, with titles for under-14 and under-18 boys and girls.
Championed by tennis legend and 14-time grand slam champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley, and in partnership with the Federal Government, the Dream, Believe, Learn, Achieve program facilitates come and try days across the country.
Successful participants are then chosen to receive assisted coaching and an invitation to the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival.
Selected WA players were chosen from a pool of 19 players who attended the Tennis West come and try day held at the State Tennis Centre in May.
These also include Jackson Phillips (Middle Swan), Kale Stanton (Belmont/Midland), Lesley Snowball (Mosman Park), Sebastian Savarese (Dayton/Middle Swan), Tia Bellotti (Geraldton) and Shania Kent (Kwinana).
In preparation for the carnival, the final team have strengthened their development with ongoing coaching and training sessions facilitated by Cameron Fenner of Frontier Tennis.
“It was 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,” Goolagong Cawley said.
“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.”
Celebrations will also include the creation of a new mural designed to celebrate Indigenous tennis and culture.
The artwork, painted by a group of local artists including David Collins alongside Indigenous artists Shaun Lee ‘Hafleg’ and Jesse Bell, will feature Goolagong Cawley alongside current world number one, French Open champion and Indigenous Tennis Ambassador Ash Barty.
Goolagong Cawley, of Wiradjuri descent, and Barty, who has Ngarigo heritage, are the only two Australian women to achieve the world number one singles ranking in the modern era.