World No.1 Ash Barty recently spoke about life lessons she has understood on her own. As down to earth as ever, Barty remembered her first star struck moment. “I think my first starstruck moment was when I met Evonne for the very first time,” smiles Barty of her long-time idol, Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
“She knew my name and kind of came up to me and gave me a hug. It was just incredible for me to think that a legend of our sport knew who I was, came up to me and made me feel welcome instantly”. Giving an insight on the hard work that goes behind any successful journey, she added, “It’s hard for me to say what I think barriers are for everyone else, but I know that for me personally some of my barriers were that I didn’t feel like I fit in.
Both of my sisters went down an academic route and I felt like I was kind of the odd one out a little bit”. Becoming a role model to a lot of young girls in Australia, Barty had to carve her own journey. “I think you need to have choices and understand that none of them are right or wrong,” she stresses.
“And I think the thing is you get to make your own decisions. You can pave your own path, create your own story and really go after it”. Speaking about her family support, she said, “They’re my biggest fans, my biggest support and I know that I can go to them with absolutely anything and they’ll have my back.
I absolutely love them to death”. She ended by saying, “Chase your dreams and have fun. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Go after (it) and put your put your hopes and dreams out into the universe, work hard and see what happens”.
“Sport has changed me as a person for the better. I’ve definitely grown and developed as a human being, learning from experiences in sport, both the good and the bad,” She added. “The tough times and the best times have all come from my sporting life and my sporting career and I think having been a part of sport and growing up with sport since I was really young, it’s just been a way of life for me”.