The ATP has announced the 12 inaugural recipients of its ATP ACES For Charity grant programme. 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 year's recipients include The Rafa Nadal Foundation, the Bryan Brothers Foundation, the Japan Tennis Association's earthquake relief fund, and organisations supporting a range of causes, including healthcare for children in Memphis and Bucharest, relief for victims of natural disasters in Pakistan and Japan, sports and education programmes for disadvantaged youth in Washington DC and the Congo, and social services for the disabled in Argentina and China.
The ATP ACES For Charity programme, launched earlier this year, 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. Click here to learn more.
The recipients of the 2011 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:
Bob & Mike Bryan: The Bryan Brothers Foundation is dedicated to supporting and developing the dreams of children in Ventura County, California and around the world, helping at-risk youth survive and thrive. It seeks out specific families and children in need, working with them directly to ensure that they have the opportunities they need to succeed. Its beneficiaries have included City Impact, Andre Agassi's Charter School and the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program.
Bryan Brothers Foundation
Ivan Ljubicic: Special Olympics Monaco, nominated by Ivan Ljubicic, focuses on the empowerment and acceptance of people with an intellectual disability through sport. The organisation provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults, giving them continuing opportunities to participate in their communities, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and have fun. Ljubicic has been the Ambassador for Special Olympics Monaco since 2009.
Special Olympics Monaco
Rafael Nadal: The Rafa Nadal Foundation, launched in February 2008, aims to provide opportunities for socially disadvantaged youth. The Foundation offers educational programmes using sport as a tool for personal and social integration, passing on values such as effort, self-improvement and respect. It is currently affiliated with three projects: the Vicente Ferrer Foundation in Antapur, India; the Special Olympics; and the Aldeas Infantiles SOS.
Rafa Nadal Foundation
David Nalbandian: The David Nalbandian Foundation aspires to create positive conditions that help people with a disability lead better lives. It has equipped special needs schools and hospitals throughout the province of Cordoba in Argentina, and opened a community centre that integrates specially adapted technology. Later this month, the David Nalbandian Foundation will open a Rehabilitation Centre, which will provide healthcare programs and services for the community – reaching a population of 120,000 people – in a state-of-the-art facility.
David Nalbandian Foundation
Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi: The Haq Foundation, established by Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, supports various charity and community welfare projects, such as scholarships for the poor and assistance for victims of natural disasters. In conjunction with his role as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme, Qureshi is helping to create awareness of flood relief efforts in Pakistan and raise funds to construct houses for those displaced.
United Nations Development Programme
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.
Tommy Robredo Foundation
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Attrap La Balle ("Catch the ball"), founded by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and a group of friends in 2009, provides underprivileged children in the Congo with access to sports activities. In addition to renovating existing facilities, the organisation has built a sports centre in Pointe Noire, which provides training for the most promising athletes. Attrap La Balle also aspires to improve hygiene and nutrition in schools.
Attrap La Balle
China Open (Beijing): The Bethel China Foundation, nominated by the China Open, provides foster care, education and professional training for Chinese orphans who are blind or visually impaired. Key initiatives of the Bethel China Foundation include "The Love Is Blind Project", supporting 60 blind orphans on its 17-acre project site just south of Beijing, and "Project 555", offering training to other orphanages throughout China to better care for this community.
Bethel China Foundation
BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (Bucharest): The Heart Of Children Association, a charity partner of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy tournament, helps children with heart conditions and contributes to the development of cardiac surgery in Romania. In 2009, the Association successfully campaigned for the establishment of a pediatric cardiac surgery centre at the Marie Curie Children's Hospital in Bucharest – the first of its kind in the region.
The Heart Of Children Association
Regions Morgan Keegan Championships (Memphis): The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, affiliated with the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships since 1993, is internationally recognised as a premier pediatric cancer research centre and is the only one of its kind where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. In addition to childhood cancers, research and treatment at St. Jude includes sickle cell disease, influenza and pediatric HIV/AIDS.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo): The Japan Tennis Association, organiser of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, aims to assist individuals affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Eastern Japan this past March. Proceeds from its charity fund go toward the Japan Red Cross and to local youth tennis groups through the Tohoku Tennis Association headquartered in Sendai, the nearest major city to the earthquake epicentre.
Japan Red Cross
Legg Mason Tennis Classic (Washington, DC): The Washington Tennis & Education Fund (WTEF), a beneficiary of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, combines tennis and education in three main programs – including its flagship Arthur Ashe Children's Program – that serve 1,500 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.
Washington Tennis & Education Fund