NEW YORK: Andy Murray was named as the 2022 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award recipient in recognition of his support for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of its neighbour, with the former world No 1 raising more than US$630,000.
Briton Murray, a three-times Grand Slam champion, said in March he would donate all his prize money won from tournaments in the year towards aid efforts for children affected by the war, which Russia has called a “special military operation”.
“Houses were bombed and families were displaced,” Murray said in a statement. “Young children were affected by this, with many injured and in some cases dying. I wasn’t sure what I could do to help.
“I decided that from Indian Wells onwards, I would donate my prize money for the rest of the season to Unicef’s humanitarian response – the final total was just over $630,000.
“It seemed like something that would give me some extra motivation this year. I thought I could also raise awareness and hopefully get others involved in helping, too.”
Murray’s individual total falls just below a joint donation of US$700,000 made by the ATP, WTA, ITF as well as the four Grand Slams earlier this year. Former world No 1 Roger Federer had also donated US$500,000.
“There are 7.5 million children in Ukraine and after more than nine months of increased conflict, 5.2 million of them are in need of assistance,” Murray said.
“When you see images of children on the news who were impacted … that makes it even more difficult to stomach. I have four young children who are fortunate everything is fine with them … But being a parent, it affects you differently.”
Tatyana Fannouch, a Unicef Programme Specialist said from Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine, that Murray’s donation meant they could provided medical supplies and services to children including those who fled their homes for safety.
“We’ve reached vulnerable families in hard-to-reach areas with life-saving supplies and protection services. For all this support that you (Murray) provided for the children of Ukraine, thank you,” Fannouch said.