© Novak Djokovic Foundation

The Novak Djokovic Foundation, one of nine ATP ACES For Charity grant recipients, focusses its efforts on helping young children gain access to preschool education.

ATP Announces 2020 'ATP ACES For Charity' Grant Recipients

Nine grants awarded to charitable causes, including the Australian Red Cross, Novak Djokovic Foundation and Rafa Nadal Foundation

The Australian Red Cross, the Rafa Nadal Foundation and the Novak Djokovic Foundation are among the recipients to have been selected for the 2020 ATP ACES for Charity grant programme. Grants of $/€15,000 will be awarded to a total of nine charitable causes, nominated by ATP Tour players, tournaments and alumni. 

This year’s grant recipients aim to make a difference to the lives of many through their work in disaster relief, childhood development and education. The grant awarded to Tennis Australia is directly supporting the Australian Red Cross in order to help those who have been affected by the devastating bushfires in Australia.

Through fostering social cohesion and access to education, Nadal and Djokovic’s respective foundations will look to improve the lives of kids from underprivileged backgrounds. Other grant beneficiaries include First Serve — supported by 2019 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Kevin Anderson — the Marin Cilic Foundation, The Giving Kitchen, Jontefonden, the Houston Tennis Association NJTL and the Krajicek Foundation.

The ATP ACES For Charity program, which launched in 2011, is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP Tour events are played, as well as recognising and supporting tournament, player and alumni charitable initiatives. Since 2011, the grant programme has awarded 94 grants totalling more than $1.2 million in donations.

The recipients of the 2020 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:

Tennis Australia: New South Wales declared a state of emergency due to unprecedented wildfires in the Australian state. Tennis Australia will be donating its ATP ACES For Charity grant to the Australian Red Cross to provide a range of services in support of those suffering from the effects of the bush fires. In addition, throughout the ATP Cup in Sydney, Tennis Australia will provide experiences for those affected by the fires to bring relief and joy into their lives.

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Rafael Nadal: The Rafa Nadal Foundation was created in 2008 with the idea that all children should have access to the same opportunities so they can develop their best capacities and potential, regardless of their origin, environment or socioeconomic situation. The foundation works on the social integration of vulnerable children, care for young people with intellectual disability and promotion of sports talent. Although most of the foundation’s projects are based in Spain, it also has a centre in Anantapur, India. At that location, the goal is to boost children’s social integration and cohesion, regardless of their caste, gender or age. The program does so through tennis, but also covers other areas. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will support the cost of nutritional assistance for 250 children, as well as the centre’s staff, with part of the donation also going towards sports footwear for the students, most of whom go barefoot.

Novak Djokovic: The Novak Djokovic Foundation, which was created in 2007, focusses its efforts on helping young children gain access to preschool education, enabling kids from disadvantaged communities to grow up, play and develop in stimulating, creative and safe settings. “Support, not perfection” is a program created by the Novak Djokovic Foundation with support from childhood education experts from Harvard University, and it is used to support parents through challenges they face during the early years of their parenthood. The program, implemented in 2016, utilises group workshops on 10 different topics and has already had 1,200 participants. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will be used to continue funding the program in 2020 and beyond across 24 cities and municipalities throughout Serbia.

Kevin Anderson: Anderson is the ambassador for First Serve. Headquartered in South Florida, First Serve is an after-school program that serves children from impoverished and high-crime areas, with the goal of engaging, educating and empowering students and helping develop them into leaders in their communities. First Serve, which was founded in 1993, hires, equips and trains high school students to mentor children in their own community. This ATP ACES For Charity grant will be used to contribute to the purchase of a van to pick up students from their schools and drop them off at home after the program and to provide transportation for field trips and summer camp. The grant will also be put towards the hiring of 12 additional mentors for First Serve’s largest after-school program in Belle Glade, Florida.

Marin Cilic: When Cilic was a kid, his parents built a tennis court in their backyard, with that court becoming a meeting point for all local kids. Those memories make the multi-functional sport court project of the Marin Cilic Foundation one the Croat is especially proud of. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will aid in the construction of a multi-functional sport court for children in one of Croatia’s impoverished regions where access to sport and play is limited. Cilic hopes those children can enjoy sport while developing skills and friendships that will benefit them throughout life.

BB&T Atlanta Open: The BB&T Atlanta Open first began working with Giving Kitchen in 2017. Giving Kitchen provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources, with the goal of helping foster a food service community in which crisis is met with compassion and care, providing direct grants to food service workers based on financial need and a qualifying crisis. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will provide a minimum of eight crisis grants, providing peace of mind and stability to a food service worker and their family.

Nordea Open (Bastad): The Nordea Open in Bastad will continue to work with Jontefonden, which was founded in 2017 to support children who have gone through a transplant and their families. Through a ‘Bastad Goes Orange’ campaign, the tournament has raised awareness and money for the cause. It has welcomed representatives from the foundation, including presentations on Centre Court; promoted registration for organ donations; and helped the foundation hire a support person for affected families. The Nordea Open also welcomed a boy whose dream was to come to Bastad, allowing him to get away from the stress of dealing his younger brother’s transplant. The tournament will use its ATP ACES For Charity grant to continue similar initiatives in 2020.

Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship: The Houston Tennis Association NJTL serves more than 6,000 children each year at more than 44 parks and schools that offer tennis as well as educational and scholarship opportunities for the diverse communities in the greater Houston area. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August 2017, there was much devastation, including significant damage to local tennis courts utilised by children. A special collaboration between ATP Tour players and the tournament in 2018 funded the resurfacing of two courts at Sunnyside Park. This ATP ACES for Charity grant will provide funds to help continue the initiative of resurfacing an NJTL site and offer programs so that the kids and families in the community can have a safer, more enjoyable place to play tennis.

Richard Krajicek: The Krajicek Foundation’s mission is to help vulnerable children in the Netherlands play outside and participate in sports in a safe environment — on Krajicek Playgrounds — where they could become role models for other kids in their community An ATP ACES For Charity grant will allow for 350 children to enjoy sports and games daily on their Krajicek Playground, support eight Krajicek Scholars through an educational year of specialised training and workshops, provide various materials for each playground, organise a local event for the community at each location and more.