Federer Lauded for Outstanding Commitment to the World’s ChildrenNEW YORK, 3 April 2006 – Roger Federer, the No. 1 tennis player on the ATP circuit and a passionate advocate for children, was appointed UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador today.
“Roger Federer will bring extraordinary energy and talents to working with UNICEF to improve the lives of children throughout the world,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said. “Roger is not just a role model for aspiring athletes, but for all those who believe that we have the power and responsibility to make the world a better place for children.”
Like Goodwill Ambassadors such as David Beckham, Youssou N’dour, Vanessa Redgrave, Roger Moore and the late Danny Kaye and Audrey Hepburn, Federer will support UNICEF in its efforts to bring attention and resources to the world’s most vulnerable children.
“I am honored to join the ranks of UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors,” Federer said. “I’ve been lucky in life, and able to pursue my passion for tennis since I was six years old. It’s important to me to help the many children throughout the world who do not have the basic resources they need.”
Federer has used his victories on the court to remind the world that children count. In 2003, he established the Roger Federer Foundation to fund projects benefiting disadvantaged children, primarily in South Africa where his mother was raised, and to promote sports for young people. In 2005, he joined UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Adolph Ogi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, in launching the ‘International Year of Sport and Physical Education’.
As the top player on the ATP circuit, Federer has been proactive in leading charity efforts. Following the devastating tsunami of 2005, the seven-time Grand Slam champion instigated several fundraising initiatives, including the ATP All-Star Rally for Relief. The unique exhibition event, which benefited UNICEF, featured an unprecedented show of support from the top men’s and women’s tennis players.
The event launched a global partnership between the ATP and UNICEF called ACE – Assisting Children Everywhere – aimed at harnessing the power of tennis to help ensure the health, education and protection of the world’s children.
“I have no doubt that Roger Federer will impress us with his leadership for children,” Veneman said. “UNICEF looks forward to a long and fruitful partnership with him.”
Attention broadcasters: b-roll of the event is available at www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, access to clean water and sanitation, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of governments, businesses, foundations and individuals, and through our National Committees for UNICEF we sell greeting cards and other products that help advance humanity.
With 64 tournaments in 31 countries in 2006, the ATP showcases the finest athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the INDESIT ATP Rankings and the world’s best teams in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race contend for prestigious titles at ATP Masters Series and other ATP tournaments. The season's top eight singles players and doubles teams will earn coveted berths at the elite 2006 Tennis Masters Cup, the year-end championship held in China from Nov. 12-19. For more information, please visit http://www.atptennis.com/
3 April 2006:
UNICEF correspondent Sabine Dolan reports on the appointment of UNICEF’s newest international Goodwill Ambassador, tennis world champion Roger Federer.