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Ashleigh Barty inspires the next generation during visit to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
The three-time major singles champion created memories to last a lifetime on her first trip to the living cultural landscape.
Published Mar 03, 2022
Surrounded by the most stunning landscape in the heart of Australia, newly-crowned Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty recently took a trip out to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. "Doesn't get any better than this does it? Like honestly," Barty said as she marveled at the majestic sights.
The First Nations tennis ambassador partnered with the foundation of Anangu culture to give fans a glimpse at the other side of Australia that's not so often seen. Barty describes Uluru as the "real Australia" as she approached the beautiful location for the first time in her life.
Not only did the world No. 1 take in spectacular views, she also saw the natural colors of Uluru and one of the world's most vertical waterfalls before meeting with the amazing students of Mutitjulu School and Alice Springs (Mparntwe). Barty brought her one-of-a-kind spirit and dozens of tennis racquets to ensure each kid received a frame. Then, she helped set up nets for the kids and coached up what could be future professional ATP and WTA players. The heart-warming moments with the children were made possible by Barty and the Red Dust tennis program.
"There wasn't one kid, there wasn't one parent, there wasn't one elder that wasn't smiling and enjoying it," Barty said. "And I think that's what lights me up the most—is at that moment, I know that all of us, we're never going to forget it. And, I think that was a lot of fun."
She later wrote on Instagram, "I’ve never been so proud to be a Ngarigo woman."
The Aussie continues to be a source of inspiration for those young and old and at just 25, it appears she's just getting started. Barty hasn't competed since her historic Australian Open run, which saw her become the first Australian woman since Chris O'Neil in 1978 to lift the the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.