Life is busy for me at the moment, working with the Elena Baltacha Foundation, and our tennis academy, and the Learn Play Grow national network is very busy at the moment, too. There’s always lots to do, and there’s not enough time in the day!
All the projects I’m involved with bring me so much satisfaction though, as I have the opportunity to work with and talk to some incredible individuals.
This week I had a very long chat with one of the senior representatives from the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) based in St.Petersburg in Florida, who told me all about the philanthropic arm of their organisation and the positive social impact it is having around the world.
It’s fantastic to hear that Steve Simon, the WTA CEO and Chairman, has made the decision to create a dedicated division that will use the profile, power and networks they have at their disposal to focus on delivering as much help and support to the WTA players’ charitable efforts and affiliations deliver more good.
Pam Shriver, a WTA Alumnus said,
“WTA Charities is an important step for the WTA family to both leverage and focus our humanitarian efforts, I have been involved in many charitable causes throughout my career and I’m so pleased to be a part of WTA Charities because we can be transformational in providing assistance and serving others with our global reach.”
I agree – I think this sums up what the WTA will achieve with their great initiative.
During the conversation (which I must admit was very emotional) we discussed the many areas that my wife Elena was involved in from a Foundation perspective, and how all her work is still affecting so many girls now.
The WTA were very interested in how she changed young girls’ lives, at a time when she was also travelling around the world with me, competing as a professional tennis player on the WTA World Tour. It was emotional, because I talked about how in our hour of need, during the fight against Elena’s cancer and also afterwards, the WTA and the players were there to support us, so yes, a very emotional conversation.
I was very interested to hear about their plans, and I found it incredibly motivating to see an organisation of this size investing their time into ways that they can help others around the world. They have given this a lot of thought, as you can see from their mission below, The Three Pillars Of Action -: Service, Assistance and Support.
It makes very interesting reading, and I’m looking forward to our next conversation after the US Open.
The mission of WTA Charities is to be a social responsibility vehicle built on the WTA’s values to empower and provide for a better future. WTA Charities is dedicated to combining, strengthening and enhancing the community and charitable efforts of the WTA through its members (players, alumnae and tournaments), along with its partners.
PILLARS OF ACTION
There are three pillars of action within WTA Charities, each giving back in its own individual way:
- Service – Directing community outreach and local efforts to give back to the communities that host WTA tournaments. Includes grassroots tennis programs that promote opportunity, personal achievement, self-esteem and respect.
- Assistance – Aimed at providing assistance to those in need primarily through the WTA Assistance Program (WTAAP), helping members of the women’s professional tennis community who suffer from serious illness or other catastrophic loss.
- Support – Reinforcing WTA members’ charitable initiatives through financial and promotional efforts and aligning with organisations that help advance lives through empowerment, equality and care for others.