(January 6, 2014) From the ATP World Tour LONDON — Nine charitable causes, nominated by ATP World Tour tournaments, players and alumni, will receive $15,000 grants through the ATP ACES For Charity programme in 2014.
This year’s recipients include the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, the Al Noor Training Centre For Children with Special Needs, and the Killing Fields To Tennis Courts Foundation. Grants have also been awarded to a number of youth tennis, health and education programmes: the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation in Florida, New York Junior Tennis & Learning, the WimBelemDon Project in Brazil, and the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund.
Two causes with extra significance to its nominees, John Isner and Fabio Fognini, have also been selected. The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center successfully treated Isner’s mother, while the Fede Lux Association was established in memory of Fognini’s friend and former ATP player, Federico Luzzi, who passed away aged 28 due to leukaemia.
Entering its fourth year in 2014, 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, player and alumni charitable initiatives. Since 2011, the grant programme has awarded 49 grants totalling more than $530,000 in donations.
The recipients of the 2014 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: The Al Noor Training Centre For Children with Special Needs provides high quality, professional training to the Special Needs community of Dubai and currently supports more than 280 students of 35 nationalities. It offers a wide range of services, including physical therapy, psychological services, sports and a Work Placement Unit, with a mission of helping individuals realise their potential and integrate into the wider community. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships annually hosts the children of Al Noor, giving them the opportunity to interact with the players on the court.
Fabio Fognini: The Fede Lux Association, established in memory of Italian tennis player Federico Luzzi, supports research for the treatment and cure of leukaemia. The association was established by Federico’s mother after her son passed away in 2008 at the age of 28, one week after his diagnosis. Fede Lux organises sporting events to raise money in the fight against leukaemia, and also finances domiciliary care for patients and their families. Fabio Fognini, who nominated the charity, is a member of the Honorary Committee, along with fellow Italians Andreas Seppi, Potito Starace, Filippo Volandri, Simone Bolelli and Daniele Bracciali.
John Isner: The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, nominated by John Isner, serves the people of North Carolina and brings together leading physicians and scientists to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. One of the leading cancer centres in the United States, it successfully treated Isner’s mother, Karen, who was told that her cancer was incurable. Isner hosts an annual charity event in North Carolina in support of UNC Lineberger.
Bruce Manson: New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL), founded in 1971 by Lewis “Skip” Hartman and Arthur Ashe, is the largest non-profit youth tennis and educational programme in the United States. It serves 75,000 New York City kids ages 6-18 with free programmes that help them learn the sport, succeed in school and build self-esteem around the values of perseverance, cooperation, fairness and respect. Nominated by former pro Bruce Manson, the ATP ACES For Charity grant will help fund the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis and Learning, a multi-use facility where children will receive free tennis lessons and academic enrichment.
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters: The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, nominated by the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, focuses on the practice of sports as a vector for children’s education and development. The Foundation’s priorities include setting up educational projects around water safety, supporting gifted young athletes lacking sufficient resources and supporting sports projects involving children’s education. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will fund the continuation of the Learn to Swim programme, created to save children’s lives, expanding its reach to more schools worldwide.
Leander Paes: The Killing Fields To Tennis Courts Foundation, nominated by Leander Paes, aims to place tennis courts in areas cleared of the landmines planted by the former Khmer Rouge regime, allowing children and adults to play in locations they used to fear. The Foundation also provides tennis specific wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs for amputees, in addition to tennis equipment and training. Paes, a Goodwill Ambassador for the project since 2010, will use the ATP ACES For Charity grant to fund a gala event in Cambodia to present wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, equipment and also draw international attention to the cause.
Justin Gimelstob: The Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund provides financial support to a variety of children’s charities in northern New Jersey and the New York metropolitan region, and has raised more than a million dollars since its establishment in 1998. The main beneficiary of the JGCF is The Valerie Fund, which supports comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders. The Valerie Fund Children’s Centers treat more than 5,000 children annually.
Andre Sa & Bruno Soares: STEPS (Sociedade Tenis Educacao e Participacao Social), supported by Andre Sa and Bruno Soares, runs the WimBelemDon Project, founded in 2000 with a motto of “Educating through Tennis”. Combining tennis lessons, educational workshops, English classes and psychological support in a safe environment, the WimBelemDon Project helps facilitate the development of skills, self-esteem and discipline of at-risk children in Porto Alegre to enable them to participate actively in Brazilian society. Sa and Soares have been actively involved with the project since 2010.
MaliVai Washington: The MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, established in 1997 in Jacksonville, Florida, promotes academic achievement and positive life skills for youth through the game of tennis. In 2008, the Foundation opened the MaliVai Washington Youth Center, a multiuse facility with tennis courts, a multimedia centre and computer lab, community room, classrooms, fitness centre and more. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will be used to support Tennis & Tutoring, a daily afterschool youth development programme that includes homework assistance, life skills classes, community service opportunities and tennis lessons.