LONDON, January 5, 2018 (ATP Press Release)
Nick Kyrgios’ NK Foundation and Fundatia Curtea Veche, supported by 2017 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award recipient Horia Tecau, are among nine recipients to have been selected for the 2018 ATP ACES for Charity grant programme. Grants of $/€15,000 will be awarded to a total of nine charitable causes, nominated by ATP World Tour players, tournaments and alumni.
This year’s grant recipients aim to make a difference to the lives of many through their work in sport, disability and education. Through access to sport and reading materials respectively, both the NK Foundation and Tecau’s campaign will look to improve the lives of children and young people from underprivileged backgrounds. Other grant beneficiaries include Stop War Start Tennis, Fundación Emilio Sánchez Vicario, Futuros para el Tenis, The Champions Volunteer Foundation, Dubai Autism Centre, Academia Dos Champs and Hand in Hand Foundation.
The ATP ACES For Charity program, which launched in 2011, 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 85 grants totalling more than $1,000,000 in donations.
The recipients of the 2018 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:
Nick Kyrgios: The NK Foundation strives to increase access and provide sport to underprivileged and disadvantaged youths. With the motivation to give every child who dreams of playing sport the opportunity they dream of, NK Foundation plans to build a sports centre in Melbourne complete with dormitories for those who may also need to take shelter. The ATP ACES for Charity grant will be used to contribute towards the cost of building a centre which will feature four tennis courts, two basketball courts, a gym, a swimming pool and 10 self-contained dormitory facilities.
Feliciano Lopez & Emilio Sanchez: Fundación Emilio Sánchez Vicario works to enhance personal development and social skills of individuals through sports and education. The grant will be used to fund activities and education for disabled people with four tennis schools and a paddle tennis school dedicated to those who suffer from physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities all set to benefit. Lopez and Fundación Emilio Sánchez Vicario will also support a special cause in honour of Casper Fernandez, a mutual friend and student at Academia Sánchez-Casal in Florida, who recently died of bone cancer.
Hans Podlipnik: Futuros para el Tenis aims, through tennis and education, to help young children at social risk, in Chile, obtain university scholarships around the world. Founded in 2003, Futuros para el Tenis has set up a tennis school with two hard courts, a hitting wall and a small club house and now works with 220 children aged 4-18. The Foundation will use their ATP ACES for Charity grant to pay for a full year’s tennis programme for children in the most critical state of social risk covering coaching, equipment, tournament and educational costs. There are also plans for an English language programme to help increase the probability of achieving a university education in later life.
Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi: Stop War Start Tennis aims to promote peace through tennis, helping victims of war resume an active lifestyle. Qureshi’s foundation works to build bridges in communities where there have been walls and has served as a vehicle for official visits to countries suffering from the effects of conflict. The ATP ACES for Charity grant will help to supply equipment such as prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and hearing aids while also funding a book donation project and the acquisition of expert instructors to specifically help those with disabilities and special needs.
Horia Tecau: Fundația Curtea Veche contributes to the well-being of future adults by improving children’s education through reading. Promoting reading as a fun, spare-time activity, the association organises interactive reading workshops and enables children from underprivileged backgrounds to gain access to books through book clubs and donation schemes. The ATP ACES for Charity grant will support the ‘Life in the Rhythm of Tennis’ book donation campaign which will combine reading and sports featuring lessons from Tecau’s children’s book. The grant will be used to fund visits to 10 Romanian cities where 5000 children can learn new skills or improve on existing ones with support from a strong sporting infrastructure.
Gazprom Hungarian Open (Budapest): Hand in Hand Foundation works for a tolerant society in which individuals with disabilities can live with dignity. The Foundation helps disabled people and their families and carers through various aspects of life such as education, health and family care, employment and recreation. The Gazprom Hungarian Open and Hand in Hand Foundation will specifically use the ATP ACES for Charity grant to kick-off a large-scale event for 300 children aged 6-10 during the 2018 tournament. This event will include a wheelchair tennis clinic for both disabled and able-bodied children and a mini-tennis clinic involving ATP players and top Hungarian wheelchair tennis players. The grant will also provide four new junior-sized sports wheelchairs.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Dubai Autism Centre, founded in 2001, encourages a better understanding of autism and provides specialist services for those who have autism and the people who care for them. With focused efforts to increase social awareness, Dubai Autism Centre aims to successfully integrate children with autism into the local community through a holistic approach to intervention and therapies. With a strong belief in the importance of involving the entire community during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the ATP ACES for Charity grant will fund this year’s ‘Special Needs Kids Day’ during next month’s tournament. The day will provide the children with an opportunity to interact with their favourite players and to also enjoy the event from the stands with tickets and meals provided.
Millennium Estoril Open: Academia Dos Champs teaches tennis as an innovative tool to instil strong, positive guidelines in underprivileged children and young adults. The academy promotes the benefits of sport and how it transcends social classes, backgrounds and life circumstances while rewarding effort and dedication. With over 260 students across 10 centres, Academia Dos Champs has held 10,058 lessons since 2009 and now over half of their overall student population will benefit from 1108 tennis lessons funded by the ATP ACES for Charity grant. The lessons will be held at three centres in the Cascais municipality, home to the Millennium Estoril Open.
BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells): The Champions Volunteer Foundation raises and redistributes funds to the local community through other organisations that support but are not limited to youth, recreational, educational and well-care programmes. The Foundation, which provides more than 1200 volunteers for the BNP Paribas Open every March, centres their attention on non-profit organisations in the Coachella Valley who support the most vulnerable and marginalised members of the community. The ATP ACES for Charity grant allows the foundation to increase the number of grants they can award to keep up with the growing demand from the local area for financial assistance.