Sport is a great uniform of life - it takes us out of our everyday existence, brings us all together on a "level playing field" and shows us the opportunities we can mould for ourselves through application.
By focusing our attention on less advantaged communities, the IC’s Philanthropy Programme hopes to give those children an alternative focus to the streets and their inherent dangers of drugs, crime and negative peer pressure. Through tennis, and the dedication and structure it provides, we hope the children in our projects will learn basics such as commitment, self-
esteem, respect for fellow players, physical fitness, the benefit of nutrition and how to play by the rules of fairness - all wrapped-up in an overall feeling of fun and enjoyment.
The IC’s first charitable development programme was co-organized in Burundi by the IC of Luxembourg in 2009 with Sport Sans Frontières and the ITF.
We are currently running three sustainable development programmes. Each programme is monitored by a different national IC:
· in Ethiopian Kids by the IC of Germany in Ethiopia
· in the Vosoloorus Project by the IC of South Africa (supported by SATA)
· in León, Mexico by the IC of Mexico
So far these initiatives are focused on a limited number of children, approximately 50 to 100 per programme, but it is hoped more children will be given the opportunity in the future as funds increase through other money raising activities such as the bi-annual Tennis Ball in London and from corporate and private donations.
The IC has just approved new grants in 2013 to help initiatives in Spain for poor children with learning difficulties (in conjunction with the Catalan Tennis Federation) and in the Netherlands for disadvantaged children in Amsterdam (in conjunction with the Krajicek Foundation).
Moreover, the IC of Uruguay (with support from the IC of France) has been nominated by the Uruguayan Ministry of Tourism and Support to run the tennis development aspect of its programme to encourage disadvantaged children to do sport and not drugs.
Philippe Pinet of the IC of Uruguay (left) with Uruguay's Vice-Minister of Sport and Tourism, Sr Antonio Carambula
We are enthusiastic about joining forces with the ITF Development Programme and hope our Memorandum of Understanding with the ITF will strengthen our efforts to help underprivileged children learn a sport and, by doing so, to acquire skills which may help them along life's path.
See more about the IC and Philanthropy on the ITF website