2014 : Unicef United

Jun 15, 2023, 1:57:16 PM

Andy Murray, the Unicef Ambassador

On New Year’s Day 2012, Andy Murray found out that his great friend and tennis player Ross Hutchins was suffering from cancer. “I remember sitting in my room for quite a while after he told me,” Murray said in December 2022 in an ATP interview. “I was upset by the whole thing and then started thinking about any ways I could help. […] Around that time was when I saw the positive benefits to doing more charity work.” He started raising funds and Hutchins made it through. Murray –who was not Sir Andy yet– realised that his status gave him great responsibility. The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was the perfect occasion; during the event, he became an ambassador for Unicef –to whom he donated £50 for every ace he scored from September to December 2015. Insurer Standard Life, the British tennis federation, and the ATP followed his lead; they raised €93,000 for child migrants and refugees. In 2016, he launched Andy Murray Live, an exhibition match through which he raised €340,000. And it gets bigger every year; the 14,300 tickets for the second edition were sold out within four hours. The match was played at the Glasgow SSE Hydro (now called OVO Hydro) and broadcast live on Eurosport; Murray was there of course, and so were Roger Federer, Jamie Murray, Tim Henman, and Mansour Bahrami. The atmosphere was all about having fun and they raised €790,000 for Unicef and a local association. At the end of this season, during which Murray won Wimbledon, the ATP Finals as well as the Rio Olympics, and became both World No. 1 and Sir Andy Murray –he received knighthood along with runner Mo Farah and actor Mark Rylance– for “services to tennis and charity.” “When I was younger, in my early 20s, I didn’t think about anything else except my tennis,” he said in another ATP interview. “When you start to get older and maybe mature a little bit, you realise there are things that are more important than sport.” He proved it again in February 2022. As he was in Dubai, he saw on TV that Russia invaded Ukraine. He then decided to donate all his prize money to Unicef –which delivers health care, clean water, and food to 5.2 M children in Ukraine– until the end of the season. “I have four young children who are really fortunate that everything is fine with them. If something like that happened with your own family, how difficult would that be? It is hard to fathom. I think in situations like these, it is important to be empathetic and do what you can do to help others. […] I thought I could also raise some awareness and hopefully get others involved in helping, too.” In late 2022, he received the ATP Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for the second time after 2014. He joined Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Pakistani player Aisam Ul Haq Qureshi as two-time winners of this award. It proves what great a person Andy is. He is just like his mother; indeed, in 2017, Judy Murray started her own foundation too. That’s how influential Andy is.

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