LONDON – The Novak Djokovic Foundation, and Children Change Colombia, supported by Jamie Murray, have been selected among nine recipients in the ATP ACES For Charity grant program for 2017. Grants of $/€15,000 will be awarded to a total of nine charitable causes, nominated by ATP World Tour players, tournaments and alumni.
A total of eight grants will benefit youth through programs worldwide, including Djokovic and Murray’s causes which respectively focus on early childhood education and development in Serbia and dedicated to defending the rights of Colombia’s most at-risk and neglected children. The other causes include the Zelmerlöw & Björkman Foundation’s boarding school in Kenya, Corazoncitos Foundation and Fundación Tenis Uruguay, Greater Curacao Tennis Patrons Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, Beijing Golden Wings Art Rehabilitation Center For Disabled Children and four social projects supported by the Rio Open: Tênis Para Todos, Tênis Solidário, Tênis na Lagoa and Escolinha de Tênis Fabiano de Paula.
An ATP ACES For Charity grant has also been awarded to CSJ leMoNaiD, founded by 13-year-old Juliette Jones in Sydney with a mission to stop Motor Neurone Disease.
Entering its seventh year in 2017, 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 76 grants totalling more than $940,000 in donations.
The recipients of the 2017 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:
Jonas Bjorkman: The Zelmerlöw & Björkman Foundation works hard for a better world through education and opportunities for needy youths. It is the main sponsor of the high school Kenswed Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. The Foundation has recently drilled a well for 600 households in the region and will build a boarding school for 32 homeless girls at the start of 2017. The ATP ACES for Charity grant will benefit this project, with the annual cost of food for these 32 girls equalling the grant amount. The Zelmerlöw & Björkman Foundation is also involved in two primary schools and one high school in the HIV/AIDS-exposed Kwazulu-Natal region in South Africa, and plans to expand its project to Ethiopia and Uganda this year by building a high school for needy girls in Addis Ababa and a youth center for street orphan boys in Kampala.
Pablo Cuevas: The Uruguayan supports two foundations that work with children in his home country: Corazoncitos Foundation and Fundación Tenis Uruguay.
Corazoncitos Foundation is dedicated to helping children with congenital heart diseases, providing them with access to special treatment and resources that are often limited in Uruguay.
Fundación Tenis Uruguay has a mission to promote the development of self-confidence and responsibility in children from deprived communities, giving them the opportunity through the systematic and disciplined practise of tennis to improve their lives. The foundation aspires to contribute to the formation of principles and values that enable these youths to fully integrate into society. Fundación Tenis, officially established in May 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, currently supports 200 children in Uruguay and more than 600 in total.
Novak Djokovic: The Novak Djokovic Foundation, founded in 2007, focuses on Early Childhood Education and Development for disadvantaged children. Its project work has a strong presence in Serbia, where there is tremendous need, and its advocacy is global. The Foundation’s mission is to enable children to grow up, play and develop in stimulating, creative and safe settings, whilst learning to respect others and care for their environment. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will go towards the “Friendship Games”, a camp created for Serbian children from socially disadvantaged communities, age 7 to 10, with an aim to inspire better socialization and inclusion through numerous creative workshops, games and group activities. To date, the Foundation has organized four camps benefitting 300 children from 26 locations.
Jamie Murray: Children Change Colombia, established in 1991, is dedicated to defending the rights of Colombia’s most at-risk and neglected children, working on issues that are neglected by others, including sexual violence and exploitation, forced recruitment into armed groups and demobilization of child soldiers, access to education, and violence in schools and communities. Murray and his wife Alejandra have supported CCC since 2011, organizing a number of children’s tennis clinics to raise funds and awareness.
The ATP ACES For Charity grant will help support a project that will focus on preventing the commercial sexual exploitation of youths in the district of Santa Fe, Bogota, and provide young people already experiencing commercial sexual exploitation with the tools to rebuild their lives. The project, which runs from January to December 2017, will work with 840 youths and 326 adults.
Jean-Julien Rojer: The Greater Curacao Tennis Patrons Foundation, to be re-named the Jean-Julien Rojer Foundation, was established in 2005 and is run by Rojer’s father Randall. It has a mission to support and guide children of all ages, diversity and social economic backgrounds who strive to maximise their potential by promoting and cross weaving education and sports. Its goal is to raise awareness of education in the community and make it possible for every child to have an opportunity to excel in their studies as well as in their sport. The donation will be used towards tools and equipment that are needed for less-fortunate children in schools as well as the sporting arena.
European Open (Antwerp): SOS Children’s Villages, supported by the European Open, has a mission to build families for children in need, help them shape their own futures and share in the development of their communities. Established in 1949 in Austria with a commitment to help children following the Second World War, SOS has grown to help children all over the world who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. Prior to last year’s tournament, the European Open in collaboration with the Kim Clijsters Academy, raised € 25.000 for SOS Children’s Villages new multi-sport ground in Tryavna, Bulgaria through a successful World Record attempt by Peugeot, in which tennis coach Maxime Braeckman set a new record by playing 40 consecutive matches of tennis over 25 hours.
China Open (Beijing): The Beijing Golden Wings Art Rehabilitation Service Center For Disabled Children provides a unique charitable service to the families of disabled children and a unique rehabilitation program through all forms of art education. Its mobile art museum has featured 2,300 pieces of Gold Wings students’ art works and been seen by more than one hundred thousand visitors over a three-year span, with the organisation raising ￥600,000.00 for the students’ families over seven years. Since 2015, the China Open Little Painter programme with Golden Wings has given children the opportunity to understand and learn about tennis through painting, with the artwork made into posters by the tournament. In 2016, the organisation established the first tennis team of autistic children in China, which will be further supported by the ATP ACES For Charity grant.
Rio Open presented by Claro: The Rio Open supports four social projects benefitting 436 children and their families, promoting internal tournaments, clinics, interaction with their idols, among many other things. The biggest project supported by the tournament, Tênis Para Todos, has a mission to provide integrity and education to children in a well-known Brazilian favela. Tênis Para Todos provides complete nutrition, uniforms, classes, transportation, sports equipment, monthly events outside the hotel and even 100 per cent scholarship at Estacio University if they achieve all the requirements. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will help support the project for another 12 months, paying for the children’s courses. The tournament’s other beneficiaries are Tênis Solidário, Tênis na Lagoa and Escolinha de Tênis Fabiano de Paula.
Apia International Sydney: CSJ leMoNaiD, supported by the Apia International Sydney, was founded by 13-year-old Juliette Jones with a mission to stop Motor Neurone Disease (ALS). It has a goal of raising awareness and creating a steady flow of revenue into research for a cure. First established as a lemonade stand in 2014, the sale of leMoNaiD has raised more than $20,000 through the Go Fund Me page and a regular Saturday stall at the Ramsgate Foodie and Farmers Market in Sydney. Funds from the ATP ACES for Charity will significantly help Juliette and leMoNaiD hit its $40,000 target in order to continue to produce leMoNaiD and to recruit Dr Dominic Rowe and his neurology team at Macquarie University’s research facility.