Crowned with the Grand Slam Title thrice, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Andy Murray has penned an essay saying that he will donate all his prize money won in this year’s tournaments to aid people, essentially children, stuck in the war-torn country, Ukraine.
The 35-year-old wrote an essay for ATPTour.com detailing the thought process behind his philanthropic efforts, what motivated him as a younger player to further involve himself with charity work and more.
“In February I was playing the tournament in Dubai and I remember watching the news and there were rumours about something happening between Russia and Ukraine.
A few days later when Russia invaded Ukraine everyone was very worried about what it would mean. When all the images on the news showing what was happening to families began pouring in, it was devastating. Houses were bombed and families were displaced. Young children were affected by this, with many injured and in some cases dying. I wasn’t sure what I could do to help.
Shortly after I decided that from Indian Wells onwards, I would donate my prize money for the rest of the season to UNICEF’s humanitarian response – the final total was just over $630,000. It seemed like something that would give me some extra motivation this year. I thought I could also raise some awareness and hopefully get others involved in helping, too.
There are 7.5 million children in Ukraine and after more than nine months of increased conflict, 5.2 million of them are in need of assistance. UNICEF is working around the clock to keep children safe by ensuring child health and protection services are sustained, critical supplies are delivered to families and that children have clean water and nutritious food.
When you see images of children on the news who were impacted by things like this, that makes it even more difficult to stomach. I have four young children who are really fortunate that everything is fine with them. But being a parent, it affects you differently. You try to put yourself in their shoes. If something like that happened with your own family, how difficult would that be? It is hard to fathom.
I’m in the fortunate position to try to make some sort of difference, so hopefully, the money that’s been raised through UNICEF can help some of the children who have been affected.
I think in situations like these it is important to be empathetic and do what you can to help others. When I was younger, in my early 20s, I didn’t really think about anything else except my tennis. As you start to get older and maybe mature a little bit, you realise there are things that are more important than sport,” writes Murray.
Speaking from Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine, UNICEF program specialist Tatyana Fannouch said Murray’s donation meant they could provide medical supplies and services to children, including those who fled their homes for safety. They could reach vulnerable families in hard-to-reach areas with life-saving supplies and protection services. Fannouch thanked Murray for all the support he provided for the children of Ukraine.
In recognition of his support for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, Andy Murray was named the 2022 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award recipient. Murray is the fourth player who has earned the award multiple times (also 2014), joining Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.