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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2003, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question Indigenous Australian Players

Why have there been no Indigenous Australian female tennis players apart from Evonne Goolagong? Is it a cultural thing, an economic thing, or an attitude thing? The mens' side is worse. There has never been an Indigenous Australian male pro tennis player. Are we surprised? You'd think there'd be a few after Evonne, who was said to have inspired a whole generation of Aboriginal kids like Cathy Freeman. If that is so, why have none of these girls been pushed towards tennis? It seems the athletically-talented boys are being pushed towards Aussie Rules football, but where are the girls going? Will we ever see another Evonne Goolagong? What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2003, 03:03 PM
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There is one Aboriginal player, Marinet Morgan. She's played quite a few of the aussie $10K satellites and some of the challengers but not had much success.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2003, 03:43 PM
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Marinet Morgan is an Aboriginal?

I had been thinking all along that she was a Kanaka...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2003, 03:57 PM
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danker...is Kanaka a Pacific/Oceania race (if that's the right word)?

I don't know what background Morgan is, but she did kind of look like a pacific islander from the photo I saw
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2003, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TS
danker...is Kanaka a Pacific/Oceania race (if that's the right word)?

I don't know what background Morgan is, but she did kind of look like a pacific islander from the photo I saw
Yep, Pacific Islander.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 23rd, 2003, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I'm a little confused now. Is Marinet Morgan an Aborigine or is she a Pacific Islander? Hmm, you know what? I'll ask my friend. She keeps in touch with Marinet from time to time.

So where DO the athletically-talented Aboriginal girls go? Basketball? Netball? Track (like Cathy and Nova)? I ran my inquiry past someone today and he said, and I quote, "You'll probably find them in the dole queue at Centrelink." But then I started laughing and felt like a really nasty git. But then he said he wasn't joking.

What about on the mens' side? Any young, Aboriginal prospects on the horizon there?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2003, 02:33 PM
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they make up about 2% of the population so ofcurse theyre gonna be largely underrepresented, but ofcourse social and economic factors come in to play for them. would love to see another abo rise up the ranks but cant see it happening anytime soon

Good luck to the Aussie and Balkan girls!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2003, 03:18 PM
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Nice choice of words there Steve...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2003, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the social and economical factors are the biggest hurdles for Aboriginal children. In Evonne's case, she was helped along by a benefactor who saw her talent and decided to invest some money in her. But Evonne also had desire and it was never mentioned to her that she couldn't achieve what she wanted. She also came from a country town where she had little contact with an "us against them" mentality and didn't have that sense of worthlessness that is instilled in a lot of city-dwelling Aboriginal kids. You'll notice that most of the Aboriginal boys who play AFL come from country towns also where they are mostly isolated from them white folks and didn't face discrimination on a daily basis.

Culturally, Aboriginal communities are laid back and the work ethic isn't the strongest (sorry, it had to be said but I think it's true). Evonne herself was always said to "go walkabout" mentally in the middle of matches. Even Cathy Freeman looked like she'd rather be elsewhere a lot of the time, even at the height of her track success. She comes across in interviews as a laid back sort of person and incredibly easy-going, whereas most athletes were more intense and determined. It's a generalization about the lack of Aboriginal success in tennis but it's a theory.

Didn't Evonne have a nationwide tennis programme where she introduces tennis to Aboriginal kids living in remote country areas? Has she unearthed any talent from this?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2003, 07:55 PM
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I think Evonne's rise to prominence is an isolated occurrence, largely due to the influence of Vic Edwards. He took her away from her family at a very young age, and she basically grew up in the Edwards' household, which was very white, and very connected with the tennis establishment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but has the Australian Tennis Federation ever had an Aboriginal Tennis Programme?

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Not so much an Aboriginal tennis programme so much as Evonne going around to remote Aboriginal communities and introducing Aboriginal kids to tennis. Better than nothing, I suppose, but what are the chances that any of them will have access to another tennis racquet once Evonne leaves town.
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