Cricket superstar and W Sports and Media’s own Ashleigh Gardner has stepped into the world of philanthropy by recently launching the Ashleigh Gardner Foundation (AGF).
AGF aims to providing support to Aboriginal children in school throughout the country through the provision of breakfast, sports kits, and unstructured play to encourage kids to complete their education in the long term.
The proud Muruwari woman and Australian international recognises the importance her education played in helping her pursue sporting excellence and is keen to support the next generation of Aboriginal children fulfil their potential.
“The big dream for the foundation is to help increase the number of Aboriginal students finishing high school”, said Gardner, whose mother Kate hails from Muruwari country in north-western New South Wales situated close to the Queensland border.
The Sydney Sixers star is determined to help foster a supportive and facilitative environment where the promotion of a healthy lifestyle compliments educational and personal empowerment.
“AGF seeks to create a healthy lifestyle for young students by starting their day with a healthy breakfast, while also creating a safe enjoyable place where young kids can feel comfortable and make school feel like an enjoyable place.”
“Through this, we hope to empower them to be anything they want to be”, said the popular all-rounder who followed in the footsteps of the great Faith Thomas AM by becoming the second Aboriginal woman to play cricket for Australia.
A regular presence in representative squads since her T20 debut for Australia in February 2017, Gardner provided an insight into AGF’s genesis and the support she’s received along the way in realising her vision and establishing the foundation.
“It was something I had in the pipelines for about a year and then COVID hit so that provided me with plenty of time to plan out the exact program I wanted to implement”, said the 24-year-old.
“I wanted to use my platform in a positive way and have a beneficial impact on young Aboriginal students by empowering them to live a fulfilling life.”
“I am thankful to the support and guidance I have had throughout the process of setting up and launching AGF from my Player Development Management at Cricket NSW in Erin Todd”, Gardner added.
The Foundation is currently seeking nationwide support from commercial partners. AGF is looking to work with brands and partners whose values reflect that of the foundation, and that are committed to making a difference.
There are a range of ways to get involved from a partnerships perspective, so to view our partnerships brochure please click here.