From the ATP – The ATP has announced the 14 recipients of its ATP ACES For Charity grant program for 2012, including the Roger Federer Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation and the BNP Paribas Openâ€™s Champions Volunteer Foundation. Grants of $10,000 each will be awarded by the ATP on an annual basis to charitable causes nominated by ATP World Tour players and tournaments.
This yearâ€™s recipients support a range of causes, encompassing youth enrichment programs in Africa and Chennai, earthquake relief in New Zealand, healthcare in St. Petersburg and Sydney, HIV/AIDS education in Washington D.C., and social services for children in Colombia, Zagreb, and Austin, Texas.
The ATP ACES For Charity program, launched in 2011, is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP World Tour events are played, as well as recognizing and supporting tournament and player charitable initiatives.
The recipients of the 2012 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:
Eric Butorac: Saint Paul Urban Tennis (SPUT), nominated by Eric Butorac, provides children of all ethnicities and economic backgrounds a chance to experience tennis with the goal of introducing them to a healthy, life-long activity and important life skills. SPUT works with thousands of children over 55 sites across the city of St. Paul, Minnesota and provides scholarship assistance to those from low-income households. In 2009, Butorac created an annual season-ending event to benefit SPUT, the Minnesota Tennis Challenge, which offers children and their families a chance to meet and interact with ATP players.
Somdev Devvarman: Athletes United for Social Justice (AUSJ), which Somdev Devvarman helped found in 2009, is dedicated to using the power of sports in the fight against HIV/AIDS by providing youth with the knowledge, skills, and support to lead healthy lives. Through â€˜The Grassroot Projectâ€™, varsity athletes from sports teams at Howard, Georgetown and George Washington Universities facilitate programmes for more than 1,000 at-risk youth in Washington D.C. Its cross-cultural leadership development programme, â€˜Team Upâ€™, unites D.C. youth with similar youth in South Africa to work on their own HIV/AIDS awareness project.
Roger Federer: The Roger Federer Foundation aspires to enable as many children as possible to take control of their future, and to actively shape it. It promotes access to quality education, supporting projects operated by local nonprofit organisations primarily in Southern Africa and Switzerland. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will help support a new project in Zambia, with the foundationâ€™s partner Peopleâ€™s Action Forum, which seeks to improve the quality of education in 41 rural community schools.
Juan Carlos Ferrero: FundaciÃ³n Juan Carlos Ferrero promotes the practice of sports and provides donations to those in need. Its main areas of focus are Tennis Integra, which offers scholarships to young athletes worldwide to attend the Equelite-Juan Carlos Ferrero Tennis Academy in Spain; the National Wheelchair Tennis Master, held during the Valencia Open 500; and donations and fundraising, with its 2011 gala dinner benefitting Caritas. FundaciÃ³n Juan Carlos Ferrero will also use the grant to help the Valencia Open 500 work towards its goal of becoming a Carbon Neutral Company.
Mardy Fish: The Mardy Fish Foundation provides children with access to after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programmes in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. Since its establishment in 2006, the Mardy Fish Foundation has opened after-school programs in 13 elementary schools, benefiting more than 2,000 students in Indian River County, Florida, and initiated Mardyâ€™s Kids on Courts, allowing local youth to improve their tennis skills through competition.
Jamie Murray: Children of the Andes (COTA), supported by Jamie Murray, works in partnership with local organisations to reach and support Colombia’s most vulnerable and neglected children, including those who are abused and exploited, living with HIV/AIDS, working on the streets, or displaced by conflict. The grant will benefit the project, â€˜Reducing and Preventing the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Childrenâ€™, which will provide support to child survivors, create awareness of the problem, and help improve the accessibility of protective services to at-risk children and families.
Andy Roddick: The Andy Roddick Foundation, established in 2001, aims to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all children based on the principles of respect for family, education and morality. To date the foundation has raised more than $10 million for various childrenâ€™s organisations. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will be used to support underprivileged children in Austin, Texas through a new project to be announced in the coming months.
Vijay Amritraj (Alumni): The Vijay Amritraj Foundation helps many of the most important causes in India, currently supporting 17 charities that assist women and children, mentally challenged patients and the elderly. Various programmes include educating underprivileged children, training midwives in villages and funding cornea transplants for the blind. The grant will expand its current education projects in the neediest neighbourhoods of Chennai, putting an additional 454 children in school.
Heineken Open (Auckland): Canterbury Tennis, nominated by the Heineken Open, aims to rebuild its tennis centre at Wilding Park after the devastating earthquake in February 2011 severely damaged all 33 of its outdoor courts. Of the 110 non-profit clubs affiliated to Canterbury Tennis, five suffered extensive damage with nearly all of their courts destroyed, and an additional nine suffered considerable damage. Canterbury Tennis aspires to re-open its tennis centre by late 2012.
Gerry Weber Open (Halle): The Bodelschwinghsche Foundation Bethelâ€™s childrenâ€™s hospice in Bielefeld, Germany, a charity partner of the Gerry Weber Open, aims to provide young cancer patients with medical care in a suitable environment with strong involvement of the family. Three of its modern therapy rooms are sponsored by and named after ATP players Alexander Waske, Michael Kohlmann and Mischa Zverev.
BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells): The Champions Volunteer Foundation, the primary beneficiary of the BNP Paribas Open, raises funds for charitable purposes, including youth recreational, educational and well-care programmes. Since its inception in 2002, the foundation has donated over $1.2 million to a variety of local non-profit organisations. Its two newest grants, the Charlie Pasarell and Peggy Michel Awards, will be offered to local high schools in the Coachella Valley.
St. Petersburg Open: The Infant Leukemia Therapy Department at St. Petersburg First Childrenâ€™s Hospital offers treatment and support to young patients and their families. The St. Petersburg Open along with Ad Vita, the core charity organisation for infant leukemia in the city, aims to assist with the improvement of hospital medical procedures, to make parental stay more comfortable and effective and to integrate selected former patients into the St. Petersburg sports community.
Apia International Sydney: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), affiliated with the Apia International Sydney for over five years, is the worldâ€™s largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research, investing more than $100 million globally per year. It aims to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications by sourcing the best medical researchers and institutes. Funds raised by JDRFâ€™s participation in the tournament will be used for Australian medical research, and the partnership further encourages people with type 1 diabetes to participate in activities, which can improve their overall health.
PBZ Zagreb Indoors: Childrenâ€™s Home Nazorova, a beneficiary of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors, provides shelter, security and training for underprivileged and orphaned children, pregnant women and new mothers. Its mission is to provide the 250 children in its care with conditions and incentives for optimal growth and development, and to train mothers for responsible parenting.