Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Top players helping children around the world

I recently wrote that Maria Sharapova is making another trip to the area affected by the Chernobyl disaster. Sharapova has donated a quarter of a million dollars to expand a United Nations Development Programme that provides sports and other physical activities to the children in the area. The Maria Sharapova Foundation already supports health and education for children in the region affected by the Chernobyl event. Sharapova's parents fled their home in Gomel a year before she was born because of concerns about radiation.

Liezel Huber is helping children through the Locks of Love, an organization that collects hair to make wigs for children who experience hair loss because of medical conditions. Huber has cut off much of her own hair, and has also recruited several Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players, who have donated their hair.

Yesterday, Li Na visited Xining, the capital of Qinghai province in China, where the April earthquake caused extensive damage and loss of life. Li was a guest of the Huang Nan Zhou Orphanage in Xining, which has taken in many children from the Yushu community; the Yushu orphange was destroyed by the earthquake.

Li donated her Madrid prize money to the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, and has also pledged her China Open prize money. She is providing living expenses for three years for the children in the orphanage, and will also provide sports equipment and facilities to ten schools in the Yushu area. The remainder of Li's donation will train teachers in using sport to help students develop basic life skills.


Overhead Spin said...

Fantastic efforts by all the players. Great to see professional athletes using their wealth and sponsorship efforts to really do some meaningful work to help the less fortunate amongst us.

I have to say that I am really loving the work that the WTA and its players have been doing of late. It has been all about getting the help to those who are truly in need.

I also like that the WTA seems to be moving in the direction where most of the stars of the game are not only about glamour but also about helping the less fortunate. I like that. I really do.

On another note, have you seen the pictures of Venus doing her media rounds to promote her book. She just looks so lovely and classy and elegant. She is everything that I have come to know and love. I am hopeful that I will get to see one or more of her speeches on tv because I am sure that it will be inspirational. My son has bought Come to Win for me but I will not be getting it until I go visit him later this month or early next month. Cannot wait.

Diane said...

I saw those photos, yes! I think that, even after she leaves the sport, we will coninue see her and hear from her. Venus is a role model because she is obviously so comfortable with who she is and what she believes. To me, that is the most important message that can be given to girls and young women.

Overhead Spin said...

I watched WTT tonight on TC. Man, seeing Venus laughing it up on the court just reminded of why I love her so much. She had one heck of a day today. Started out in NYC doing Good Morning America and then finished it off by playing mixed doubles in Washington D.C. Talk about a well travelled woman. And during all that travelling she still managed to look so lovely

Did you see the interview that Serena gave in Harpers Bazaar (think that was what it was) where her words were taken out of context. She said that she did not appreciate how different she was growing up but now that she has got older she appreciates it more. She still hates her arms though - LOL

However, HB made it look as if she said that losing weight and being down a dress size was better than winning tennis matches. As if.

Diane said...

I haven't read it; I've just seen some quotations from it. Serena is, sadly, a prime example of how women get trashed for not fitting some arbitrary standard of "beauty."