The Novak Djokovic Foundation, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi’s Stop War Start Tennis, and the Washington Tennis & Education Fund have been selected among 14 recipients in the ATP ACES For Charity grant program for 2013. Grants of $10,000 each are awarded by the ATP on an annual basis to charitable causes nominated by ATP World Tour players and tournaments.
The recipients support a wide range of causes worldwide, including childhood education in Serbia and Malaysia; tennis programs for disadvantaged youth in Colombia, Portugal and Tanzania; healthcare in Cincinnati, Eastbourne and the Ukraine; and social services for the elderly in Romania.
Entering its third year in 2013, the ATP ACES For Charity program is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP World Tour events are played, as well as recognising and supporting tournament and player charitable initiatives.
The recipients of the 2013 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:
Novak Djokovic: The Novak Djokovic Foundation, launched in 2007, is an advocate for childhood development and inclusive preschool education that enables children from disadvantaged communities – especially in Serbia – to grow up, play and develop in a stimulative, creative and safe environment. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will aid the Foundation in opening and renovating kindergartens and spaces where children can play together and learn through programs carefully crafted by professionals.
Alejandro Falla: Tennis For Colombia encourages the personal and social development of unprivileged ball kids who start working at local tennis clubs at a young age to support their families, thereby limiting their chance of receiving a good education. Nominated by Alejandro Falla and created by a group of tennis players, all of whom serve as ‘godfathers’ of a child in the program, Tennis For Colombia provides academic scholarships so the children can have an education and improve their opportunities in life.
Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi: Stop War Start Tennis, founded by Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, is dedicated to promoting peace through tennis. The foundation aims to use the sport as a bridge to unite communities and nations that have been torn apart by conflict to reconcile their differences and heal the wounds of war. Qureshi visits numerous project sites through Stop War Start Tennis – travelling to Iraq, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Pakistan during 2012 – partaking in a meet and greet, on-court tennis activity, and official meeting to discuss how the project can be further developed.
Tommy Robredo: The Tommy Robredo Foundation organises activities which allow sports training for people with a disability, mainly wheelchair tennis. It also raises awareness of the importance of sport as beneficial to mental and physical health, and as a stimulant to personal growth and well-being. The Foundation holds an international wheelchair tennis tournament, the Santi Silvas Open, which attracts the world’s top male and female players and will celebrate its fifth edition in 2013.
Olivier Rochus: Tennis for Africa, nominated by its ambassador Olivier Rochus, offers assistance to children and families in need on the African continent. Since 1998, the foundation has raised funds for humanitarian projects through online auctions and the organisation of sports and cultural activities. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will benefit a sports charity project in Tanzania, which aims to promote the social and cultural development of children through the principles of sport and specifically through tennis.
Sergiy Stakhovsky: Ace the Cancer provides a $5 donation to the National Institute of Cancer Ukraine for each ace served by Sergiy Stakhovsky during the ATP World Tour season, with the money going towards research and prevention of cancer in its early stages. Stakhovsky, whose father works at the National Institute of Cancer, established Ace the Cancer in honour of his uncle who passed away due to stomach cancer following a late diagnosis and periodically visits the Institute when he is in Kiev.
Janko Tipsarevic: Čika Boca, founded by parents of cancer patients and nominated by Janko Tiparevic, is a support group for families affected by childhood cancer. Among its many activities, the foundation collects funds and runs blood drives, provides legal assistance, and works with medical staff and organisations to improve treatment and conditions. Čika Boca also hosts a rehabilitation camp, called Tipsy Camp, which serves to reduce anxiety and fear for the children recovering from cancer.
Alex Corretja (Alumni): Small, supported by Alex Corretja, aims to improve medical treatment for childhood cancer and the quality of the hospital stay for children and their families. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will support Small’s latest project, the building of a new Day Hospital for the Pediatric Oncology Service for the Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, which will support those patients who can receive treatment on an outpatient basis.
BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (Bucharest): The Dumbrava Minunată Foundation, supported by the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy tournament, is dedicated to the well-being of vulnerable social groups, including impoverished elderly people in Romania. Established by Ion Tiriac and a team of trained caregivers, it created The Poiana Soarelui Bakery – which now has a network of shops – with the purpose of providing financial revenues to support their social work. The Foundation is currently focused on the project, “Let’s live with dignity; old age is not a burden”. The program aims to improve the situation of marginalised seniors in Brasov by designing and promoting integrated social services.
Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati): The Dragonfly Foundation, which works exclusively with children at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, provides comfort and joy to kids and young adults with cancer and blood diseases. Its services fall into three categories: gifting programs for patients, families and hospitals; caring and support programs; and social events and entertainment. The Western & Southern Open has been played for the benefit of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center since 1974.
Aegon International (Eastbourne): St Wilfrid’s Hospice, a charity partner of the Aegon International, provides care for adults with a life-threatening illness. It offers a Hospice at Home service, through which qualified nurses and support workers care for patients in their homes. St Wilfrid’s is also currently developing a new hospice building – a modern, purpose-built facility in Eastbourne – which will double its current inpatient capacity and improve the patient care provided.
Estoril Open: The Academia dos Champs (ADC), supported by the Estoril Open since its launch in 2009, aims to enable as many children as possible to take control of their future and to actively shape it through tennis. It identifies locations where a need is spotted and establishes ADC Tennis Centres, offering tennis lessons and tournaments through which children develop social and personal skills that will provide them with a sense of direction. The ATP ACES for Charity grant will support the cost of a new centre in the Cascais Municipality for a year.
Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur: The Dignity for Children Foundation, nominated by the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, operates one of the largest one-stop learning centres for urban poor children in Malaysia and currently serves 700 children between the ages of two and 20. It has eight education programs – ranging from early childhood education and vocational training to sports development and teacher training – tailored to meet the needs of the children to ensure they acquire the academic and social personal skills crucial to their success in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Citi Open (Washington, DC): The Washington Tennis & Education Fund (WTEF), a beneficiary of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, combines tennis and education in two main programs that serve 1,000 children annually. It seeks to improve the life prospects of DC youth, particularly those from lower income communities, through academic, athletic and community-building activities that teach discipline, build confidence and improve academic performance. The grant will support its flagship Arthur Ashe Children’s Program, specifically funding the round-robin ‘tennis meet’ competitions between 24 schools.