LONDON, UK – WTA Charities, the philanthropic arm of the WTA, will launch COME PLAY!, a global community outreach program, during the WTA’s fall swing of tournaments in Wuhan, Beijing and Singapore with a series of clinics led by returning WTA Finals Community Ambassador Judy Murray, renowned tennis coach and mother of top world-ranked professionals Andy and Jamie Murray.
“There is no better partner to work with in promoting tennis than the WTA. We had a fantastic experience in Singapore last year, so I am thrilled to be able to work with the team again, and better still, to expand on the efforts that have already been kickstarted in Asia-Pacific. With outstanding Asian role models such as Li Na, Sania Mirza and Latisha Chan, it is all about encouraging the next generation to pick up a racquet, and I am confident that there is much more talent out there that we can hopefully uncover through the COME PLAY! program.” said Murray.
The WTA Charities COME PLAY! global initiative was developed as a result of the first WTA Finals Community Day tennis clinic led by Murray in 2017 at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. It included children and young adults from SportCares, wheelchair tennis, Special Olympics and SC Global’s Tennis for Every Child program who participated in the first clinic.
“Having the WTA Finals in Singapore for the last four years has shone the spotlight on women’s tennis in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Melissa Pine, WTA Finals Tournament Director and Vice President of WTA Asia-Pacific. “COME PLAY! will build on the foundation laid by the WTA Future Stars program that started in 2014, and which has now grown to 21 countries sending representatives. The WTA Future Stars clinics have also been conducted in China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore, and are in place to continue to extend the WTA’s outreach in the region. It is an exciting time for women’s tennis, and as the WTA expands its footprint with COME PLAY! in Asia, we will hopefully be able to nurture and encourage the talent that we know exists.”
In support of COME PLAY!, WTA players, tournaments, alumnae and coaches will participate in tennis clinics and activities worldwide, reaching out to a wide range of community organizations and grassroots programs.
WTA Charities will support COME PLAY! by providing equipment as well as funding expenses for clinics and other fundraising activities.
“We are excited to build the footprint of WTA Charities and to introduce COME PLAY! together with Judy, who is an amazing advocate for the sport,” said Ann Austin, WTA Senior Director of Community Development.
“We really look forward to bringing women’s tennis to the communities in Asia-Pacific, where the popularity of the sport has grown significantly recently. We are committed to developing new ways and events to engage more people to lead healthy and productive lives worldwide. It will be a great initiative which will align closely with our tournaments who have already been doing charitable initiatives for many years, such as the China Open which started their program in 2011.”