Ash Barty, the current number one ranked women’s tennis player and inaugural Richmond Women’s membership holder will present the premiership cup to Damien Hardwick and Trent Cotchin if the Tigers are successful against Geelong on Saturday night.
Since 2004, the AFL has asked each club competing in the Toyota AFL Grand Final to nominate a representative to be on hand to present the Premiership Cup to the winning team.
Barty a lifelong supporter of Richmond, accepted the Club's invitation this week and will follow in the footsteps of Maureen Hafey (2019) and Matthew Richardson (2017) of presenting the cup should the Tigers win.
Barty is only the second Australian Women’s Tennis Association World No. 1 after fellow Indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley. She has won eight singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA tour, including one Grand Slam singles title at the 2019 French Open and one Grand Slam doubles title at the 2018 US Open.
“I was surprised and very honoured when Peggy asked me to present the Cup. I know there are many other Richmond people who would normally do this but given the circumstances I am very grateful for the opportunity,” said Barty
“I wish the boys all the best for Saturday and very much hope I have the chance to be out there when the siren goes celebrating another Richmond Premiership.
“I am a long-time fan of the Tigers and so proud to be associated with the Club. I trained at the Club for several years with a lot of the boys and have loved watching the Tigers on my travels, supporting them has been a constant source of enjoyment for me on the road. I have a huge admiration and respect for the Club on and off the field, what they have achieved over the last decade is incredible.”
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said that the Club was delighted to be able to select Barty for the honour.
“We are so proud to call Ash one of our own and of all the incredible things she has achieved in her life. Not only has Ash always supported us, but she is also someone that displays the values that embody our Club,” he said.
“If we are fortunate enough to be able to see Ash present the Premiership Cup on Saturday night, she will be representing all of our wonderful members, supporters and the entire Tiger Army.”