Evonne Goolagong (right) with Glenmore State School student Ivy Kris-Jasperson (11) during a coaching clinic for indigenous students in Rockhampton. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Evonne Goolagong (right) with Glenmore State School student Ivy Kris-Jasperson (11) during a coaching clinic for indigenous students in Rockhampton. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Former world nu 1 tennis player teaches Rocky kids tricks

EVONNE Goolagong Cawley achieved her dreams - now she's striving to help others achieve theirs.

The Australian former world No.1 female tennis player has dedicated the past 18 years of her life to the development of indigenous students across the country through the Learn and Legend Program.

After winning 14 grand slam titles and becoming the first indigenous Australian to become a professional international tennis player, Goolagong Cawley said she set her sights on her second dream.

"My first dream was to play and win at Wimbledon and I achieved that dream and since coming back to Australia in 1992, I told my husband I want to create a program that can help other indigenous kids find their dreams and the key I believe is quality education," Goolagong Cawley said.

"I believe they can achieve their dreams if they stay in school and they can find their dreams in school."

Goolagong Cawley joined 75 local indigenous students from around the region at Rockhampton Tennis Centre yesterday and will again today to introduce the Learn and Legend Program through a free tennis clinic.

"It's going really well. This is a government-run program called the Learn and Legend Program. Learn, stay in school, get that job and become a legend," she said. "We're taking this program all around Australia and we have for a few years now.

"It's a getting started program run by the Evonne Goolagong Foundation and it's about having fun and hoping they'll have so much fun they'll want to keep playing."

Goolagong Cawley said she and the Learn and Legend coaches would select about six participants from the two-day tennis clinic to join the Learn and Legend Program.

"Not necessarily the best players, but the kid that tries really hard and really wants to help themselves," she said.

"We give them some free coaching lessons and if they attend their lessons and they stay in school, then later on they're introduced to the state camps.

"From there if they still stay in school and attend their lessons, they're introduced to the national camp which is held in the first week of the Australian Open at Monash University in Melbourne."



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