Australian tennis great Ash Barty is hoping to reach as many young Aussies as possible after launching her new foundation on Monday.
Drawing on the three-time grand slam winner’s decorated sporting career, the 27-year-old said the Ash Barty Foundation aims to inspire communities and young people.
Speaking at the launch of her new charity at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, the former home of the Australian Open, Barty said months of work had gone into reaching this point.
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“I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting for this day to come, to finally launch my foundation with my team,” she said.
“Our purpose is to provide opportunity to young boys and girls through sport and education — two of my biggest passion pieces. Now, being able to bring it all together is really exciting.”
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Barty stunned the world when, at just 25, she retired from tennis while still at the peak of her powers, with many believing she was bound to add to her cabinet of major trophies until giving the game away.
But the 2022 Australian Open champion, who also had a brief career in cricket, was as assured of her decision then as she remains now, making clear that she wanted to dedicate more time in her life to passions outside tennis.
Ash Barty has launched her own foundation. Credit: 7NEWS
Barty achieved one post-tennis milestone when she became a mother last year but it’s now clear her foundation was another passion waiting to emerge.
“A big part of my growing and learning as an athlete was being able to be surrounded by such good people that provided me with so much opportunity,” Barty said on Monday.
“I feel like now I’m excited that I get to do that; I get to commit my time in a positive way and give back to the sport that gave me so much — and extend that into education as well, and into different sports.
“It’s nice now that we’re finally here. It’s been a lot of work, it’s absolutely worth the wait, and I can’t wait to kickstart.”
Barty explained that the mission of the foundation is to impact as many young Aussies’ lives as possible, on and off the tennis court.
“Our goal is to help as many young Australians as possible to make sure that the quality is there, that the money is being used in the right way,” she added.
“I don’t want to put a goal or an expectation or a ceiling on where we go. To be honest, I’m not sure where we’ll end up yet.
“It’s about the journey, it’s about growing and doing the best that we can. We’re all very new to this — my team, my family, the team in the AB Foundation — so it’s all exciting for us, it’s all new. And I think we have the energy, we have the desire to do as well as we can, and that’s all we can ask.
“So, I know it’s (the money) going to be used in the most positive way in areas that are close to my heart, and communities and areas that need the opportunities to grow.
“(We want to) provide racquets and courts and upgrades to facilities.
“We’ve done plenty of work with the state government of Queensland as well to be able to touch on those education pieces, particularly up in north Queensland.
“So, there’s plenty of opportunity for us and, to be honest, it’s something that I just want to be able to spread as wide and far (as possible), and just make sure that it’s used in the right way, and used to have a positive impact on as many young Aussies as we can.”