ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – Ever since the WTA’s founding in 1973, players have enthusiastically supported charitable causes at home and on the road in tournament host cities. To augment this legacy, 2017 has seen the early-stage rollout of WTA Charities, the WTA’s first global philanthropic organization dedicated to making a positive social impact worldwide.
“I am very pleased to announce the formation of WTA Charities,” said Steve Simon, WTA CEO and Chairman, when the initiative was launched late last year. “This is an area that WTA has been actively involved in for years and we are now setting ourselves up to truly have a dedicated division for WTA and its members to make a lasting impact – in our tournament communities, by supporting our players’ charitable efforts and affiliations, along with our partners’ philanthropic initiatives.”
The development and implementation of WTA Charities rests with a Board of Directors. Joining Simon on the board are WTA Player Board Representative Dianne Hayes, WTA Tournament Council member Bob Moran, WTA Global Advisory Council member Jan Soderstrom and WTA alumnae Pam Shriver, Tracy Austin and Jennifer Capriati.
“WTA Charities is an important step for the WTA family to both leverage and focus our humanitarian efforts,” said Shriver. “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.”
So far in 2017, current players have given time to an array of causes around the world, and during her visit to the new Hungarian Ladies Open in Budapest in February, WTA Legend Monica Seles met children who are being supported by Ronald McDonald House.
Of course, many WTA Legends have dedicated their post-playing days to ‘giving back’, and WTA Charities will also seek to support these endeavors.
Former World No.2 Andrea Jaeger, for one, is an alumna who continues to inspire. For three decades now, Jaeger’s Little Star Foundation has done amazing work with children with cancer and their families. Jaeger recently teamed up with top rider Jessica Springsteen – daughter of Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa – in a fundraising campaign that saw donations raised for each jump successfully cleared by the showjumper and her mount.
WTA CHARITIES - MISSION
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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Support - Reinforcing WTA members’ charitable initiatives through financial and promotional efforts and aligning with organizations that help advance lives through empowerment, equality and care for others.
For more information or to find out how you can get involved, contact WTA Charities program administrator Ann Austin: firstname.lastname@example.org.