Pat Cash
Pat Cash gives AIS Academy tennis player Andrew Whittington a mouthful of his famous chequered headband while Joey Swaysland (left) and Sean Berman look on. - Rob Williams

Pat Cash beats the ash!

Chris Garry | 24th April 2010

TENNIS legend Pat Cash arrived in Ipswich tired and frustrated after Europe’s flight ban forced him to miss his own tournament.

Cash was scheduled to be in Ipswich all week to help promote the Gallipoli Youth Cup (GYC), a junior competition he created to raise awareness of Anzac Day history.

But unfortunately, a volcano stood in his way.

Cash was one of the first to escape London’s Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, after a volcanic eruption in Iceland caused an ash cloud to linger across Europe and airlines to cancel flights for a week.

After enduring a 24-hour flight filled with relieved passengers, who swapped war stories of how they got through the week, Cash headed straight to Ipswich’s George Alder Tennis Centre to finally watch the tournament.

“It was really frustrating,” Cash said.

“We had a lot planned for me to help kids in the tournament and kids from local schools get educated about Anzac history during the week.

“But obviously it hasn’t worked out as planned.”

Cash, who still wears the fancy jewellery which made him famous, lives in London and was one of the fortunate travellers who could go home once their flight was cancelled.

“I didn’t even realise that flights were cancelled until the last minute,” Cash said.

“I called my taxi driver to go to the airport and he was like ‘why are you doing that?’”

Cash was forced to hire baby sitters for his children who live in London, as the flight ban also caused the kids’ mother to be stuck in Houston, Texas.

“I was checking the internet every few hours, trying to book flights, trying to find out the absolute earliest I could get here,” she said. “It’s disappointing, but what can you do.”

The 1987 Wimbledon winner and his friend Umit Oraloglu created the GYC as a way to educate young people about the history of Anzac Day through tennis.

“I visited Turkey and the Anzac Cove site at Gallipoli in 2004 which really made me think about the history of the Anzacs,” he said.

“I think it’s important that kids know the history of their country and it was hoped that this event could educate them, but it’s all been messed up.”

Source: From the Queensland Times who is the media partner of the Gallipoli Youth Cup
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