TA Press Release, August 1, 2020
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and fellow Queenslanders John Millman, Lizette Cabrera and John-Patrick Smith were officially welcomed to Cairns by the Mayor, Cr Bob Manning OAM, as they visited children at Edge Hill State School on Friday morning.
The players will visit local schools and clubs in Cairns to promote the safe return of tennis to the state and show their support to the local community.
Tomorrow, Saturday 1 August, they will join local dignitaries to officially launch the new roof at the Cairns International Tennis Centre before taking to the court to play an exhibition for members of the local tennis community (media information available below).
“It’s really nice to be able to come back [to Cairns] again and kind of try and create a bit of a positive impact for the community, that’s what it’s all about at the moment,” Barty said.
“This is what tennis is about in my opinion,” Millman said. “I remember the joy the game gave me when I was a little kid… you know hopefully Ash, Lizette, JP…we can inspire the next generation to pick up a racquet and introduce them to a game that has taken us many places.”
John-Patrick Smith and Lizette Cabrera, both from Townsville in Northern Queensland were happy to be back in Far North Queensland and handing out free racquets to first year school students.
“Growing up in Townsville we never had this sort of stuff so I think it’s a great initiative to keep kids in tennis – the more kids that can get a racquet at a young age, it will help growing up and playing tennis and I know it’s given me a lot of good opportunities, and hopefully that’ll inspire young kids to do the same,” Cabrera said.
“I obviously had a good run here in Australia in Summer and then Covid hit, but it’s the same thing for every player, everyone had to go home and isolate and be away from the game, but now, it’s given me more of an appreciation to go out there and play and compete and you know, treasure these moments on the court because it can be taken away from you so quickly,” Smith said.