Ashleigh Barty reacts to being honored in Queen's Birthday honors

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Ashleigh Barty reacts to being honored in Queen's Birthday honors

Former three-time Grand Slam champion Ashleigh Barty has been honored in Australia as she been named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). On the Queen's Birthday Honors list, Barty was recognized for for her distinguished services to tennis and to youth development programs in Australia.

This past March, Barty announced a shock retirement from tennis at the age of 25. During her career, Barty was always known as a great role model, on and off the court. “There are so many Australian people who do wonderful things for our country and I want to congratulate all of the other award recipients on being recognised for their contributions,” Barty said in a statement.

“On a personal level, I always try to uphold Australian values – being humble, respectful, kind and caring for others”.

Barty doing her best to always represent Australia in a positive way

“I’m a very proud Australian and representing my country to the best of my ability has always been my priority,” Barty added.

“I hope to continue my contribution to our country, focusing on providing youth with sport and education opportunities and inspiring all young kids to go after their dreams”. Barty being honored in Australia should not come as a surprise as she is well-known for her work outside the tennis court.

Earlier this year, Barty took her Australian Open trophy to Uluru and played tennis with Aboriginal children in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The kids were thrilled to have a chance to with Barty and she was thrilled to see the smiles on their faces.

“It’s really hard to put into words, just because it’s a feeling,” Barty said. “When you actually go to Uluru for the first time like I did, it was just an incredible experience for me to understand how much of a spiritual connection Uluru has for so many communities.

“But also as a child, as an Aboriginal girl growing up, it’s the heartbeat of our nation, being able to experience that first-hand is something I always wanted to do. To be able to allow myself, through my profession and through my career to have this opportunity was really special."