Ian Hewitt, Chairman of the AELTC, said: “Our thoughts are with the Australian people at this difficult time. As one of the leading sports in the world, tennis has a responsibility to use the resources that come from our reach and influence as a force for good. We are pleased to be playing our part as the global tennis community comes together to support the efforts of the Red Cross in Australia.”
Patrick Galbraith, USTA Chairman of the Board and President, said: “The USTA has a long track record of supporting communities hurt by devastating natural disasters, and though our efforts have traditionally been to support communities in the United States, we are joining with the world in helping our friends and colleagues in Australia. When the global tennis community unites, we can make a difference.”
Jayne Hrdlicka, Tennis Australian Chair, said: “Sadly, the start to the tennis season, and the new decade, comes with tragedy. The fires in Australia continue to dominate world news and the devastation is hard to comprehend.“
“Several weeks ago, we launched our Aces for Bushfire Relief campaign, which will see a donation made for every ace hit across the Australian summer of tennis. With this initiative, and the support of the broader tennis community, we hope to raise millions of dollars throughout January. We want to ensure that as a sport, globally, we show our huge heart and compassion for what is taking place around us. The fund raising will support the emergency services teams and families who have suffered great loss. The rebuilding of communities and lives will take many, many years and we have the opportunity to make a real difference.
“The generosity and genuine care shown from the tennis family throughout the world has been overwhelming.”
In Australia, the Red Cross is supporting thousands of people in evacuation centres and helping to reconnect families. They are providing training, equipment and logistical coordination for volunteers and other relief workers.
Those interested in supporting the cause can visit Redcross.org.au/tennis to learn more about the Australian bushfire relief efforts.
Statement issued on behalf of:
David Haggerty, President of the ITF
Bernard Giudicelli, Chairman, Roland Garros
Ian Hewitt, Chairman, Wimbledon
Patrick Galbraith, Chairman, US Open
Jayne Hrdlicka, Chair, Australian Open