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UNICEF Appoints Roger as Goodwill Ambassador

03.04.2006 | Off Court

Roger Federer Lauded for Outstanding Commitment to the World’s Children


Roger Federer, the No. 1 tennis player on the ATP circuit and a passionate advocate for children, was appointed UNICEF’s newest Goodwill Ambassador today.


“Roger Federer will bring extraordinary energy and talents to working with UNICEF to improve the lives of children throughout the world,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said. “Roger is not just a role model for aspiring athletes, but for all those who believe that we have the power and responsibility to make the world a better place for children.”


Grammy award winner Shakira, also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, joined Federer at UNICEF Headquarters. She presented Federer with the UNICEF pin, and said: “Welcome, Roger. It’s great what you’ve been doing with your foundation and you now plan to expand to the world through UNICEF. I’m happy that you joined the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador group.”


Like Shakira and other Goodwill Ambassadors such as David Beckham, Youssou N’dour, Vanessa Redgrave, Roger Moore and the late Danny Kaye and Audrey Hepburn, Federer will support UNICEF in its efforts to bring attention and resources to the world’s most vulnerable children.


Additionally on Monday in New York, Federer joined more than 500 guests including fellow sports stars and government leaders as The Report on the International Year of Sport and Physical Education 2005 was presented to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In 2005, Federer served as a Spokesperson for the Year and joined Annan and Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, in launching the International Year, which recognized the power of sport to promote education, health and peace and help attain global development goals.


“I am honored to join the ranks of UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassadors,” Federer said. “I’ve been lucky in life, and able to pursue my passion for tennis since I was six years old. It’s important to me to help the many children throughout the world who do not have the basic resources they need.”


Federer has used his victories on the court to remind the world that children count. In 2003, he established the Roger Federer Foundation to fund projects benefiting disadvantaged children, primarily in South Africa where his mother was raised, and to promote sports for young people.


As the top player on the ATP circuit, Federer has been proactive in leading charity efforts. Following the devastating tsunami of 2004, the seven-time Grand Slam champion instigated several fundraising initiatives, including the ATP All-Star Rally for Relief. The unique exhibition event, which benefited UNICEF, featured an unprecedented show of support from the top men’s and women’s tennis players. The event launched a global partnership between the ATP and UNICEF called ACE – Assisting Children Everywhere – aimed at harnessing the power of tennis to help ensure the health, education and protection of the world’s children.


“I have no doubt that Roger Federer will impress us with his leadership for children,” Veneman said. “UNICEF looks forward to a long and fruitful partnership with him.”

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