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Tennis stars rally for a new global partnership with UNICEF

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Roger Federer (left) and Andre Agassi are among the elite tennis players participating in the exhibition event celebrating the partnership between the Association of Tennis Professionals and UNICEF.

INDIAN WELLS, California, USA, 11 March 2005 – The world’s top tennis players, including Roger Federer and Andre Agassi, today participated in a crowd-pleasing exhibition celebrating the new global partnership between the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and UNICEF.

The event, ‘ATP All-Star Rally for Relief’, raised more than $18,000 for UNICEF.

The ATP-UNICEF partnership is called ‘Assisting Children Everywhere’ (ACE). It was officially launched during the exhibition. It aims to harness the power of tennis to help ensure the health, education and protection of children everywhere.

Besides Mr. Federer and Mr. Agassi, ATP players Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Carlos Moya, David Nalbandian, Guillermo Coria, Paradorn Srichaphan and Tim Henman also played. Several women tennis players from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Amelie Mauresmo and Daniela Hantuchova participated by playing doubles matches with the men. UNICEF buckets were passed among the crowd to collect funds.

During the exhibition, the athletes put aside their usual competitive nature and showed the audience their comic side. Winning was the last thing anyone cared about. Jokes were often exchanged during volleys, generating frequent laughter from the audience and at times, even the umpire.

“I cannot think of a better way for UNICEF and the ATP to begin their partnership,” said UNICEF’s Chief of International and Corporate Alliances, Anne-Marie Grey.

“The gesture of these tennis players in donating their time, energy and enthusiasm for this cause was extremely impressive. We also applaud the generosity of the Pacific Life Open fans who provided tremendous benefit to the world's most vulnerable children,” added Ms. Grey.

“We are delighted to work with UNICEF to use the power of tennis to help create a better world,” said ATP Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles. “We hope to raise considerable funds to support UNICEF’s work on behalf of children, and to show the world that tennis is more than just a game. Sport can be a powerful force of change for children and families everywhere.”

The UNICEF-ATP partnership will focus on fundraising and advocacy. Among the first initiatives will be a campaign to raise money for global child immunization programmes.


 

 

Video

11 March 2005: Launch of the partnership between UNICEF and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), at the ‘All-Star Rally for Relief’ exhibition event.

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