Australian tennis champion Ash Barty has pledged to donate $360,000 to those affected by the bushfires, if she wins at a major international competition.
The WTA world number one made the announcement at the Brisbane International on Sunday, where she offered her condolences to the families who have lost everything in the ongoing crisis.
So far, the bushfires have killed 24 people, ravaged more than 1,500 homes and destroyed more than 3.6 million hectares of land, killing nearly half a billion animals in the process.
Speaking at the event, Barty said:
Wildlife has been lost but it has also affected lives and homes so I have been sitting down and thinking with my team and family on ways we can help. There have been really great initiatives from cricketers, tennis players, golfers, soccer players all over the country trying to help out. We have come to the decision any of my prize money here in Brisbane will be donated to the [Australian] Red Cross to go towards the families and homes affected.
Tennis champion Barty’s pledge will come as no surprise to fans, after she donated more than $30,000 to the RSPCA towards the end of last year, in a bid to help the wildlife affected by the bushfires which have been blazing the country since October.
In 2019, the 23-year-old won the French Open women’s singles and was the highest-earning female player earning $16.4 million in prize money.
She joins other players, including Nick Kyrgios, Sam Stosur and Alex de Minaur who have all pledged similar donations.
On Friday, Kyrgios and cricketer Chris Lynn said they would donate cash for victims of the fire every time they hit an ace or a six.Heartbreakingly, the fires aren’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon and with almost two months left of blazing summer left in Australia, with New South Wales now officially in a ‘state of emergency’.