Emirates Airline Rallies for Inner-City Kids' Tennis
Rogers Cup serves up fifth annual Racquet Return Program Aug. 4-12
TORONTO, Aug. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - When you donate a tennis racquet at this year's Rogers Cup in Toronto from August 4-12, you're scoring an ace for the kids. Thousands of inner-city children will have an opportunity to swing their own tennis racquets thanks to Emirates airline's Racquet Return Program returning for its fifth year in support of the Doug Philpott Inner City Children's Tennis Fund.
Launched at the 2008 Rogers Cup in Toronto, the Emirates Racquet Return Program will expand this summer to select US Open Series events across North America, including Los Angeles, New Haven and New York.
Tennis racquets, preferably junior-sized ones, will be collected by Emirates representatives at the main entrance gate at Rexall Centre, York University. Emirates will donate the used tennis racquets from Rogers Cup fans to the Doug Philpott Fund, which reaches 4,500 of Toronto's inner-city youth each summer.
"Our summer tennis camps are offered free to Toronto children and youths, ages 5 to 15, living in high priority neighbourhoods who might otherwise not have access to the sport," said Ceciley Parker Executive Director, Doug Philpott Inner-City Children's Tennis Fund. "Our goal this year is to collect at least 300 racquets through Emirates' Racquet Return initiative for next year's programs, so we can continue promoting health and physical wellbeing by providing skill-developing tennis programs," she added.
As part of the program, Emirates has also committed to giving away more than $10,000 worth of junior sized racquets to a variety of under serviced areas and charities across the country throughout the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, including the community of Jane and Finch and Doug Philpott Tennis Fund, in Toronto, and select Little Aces Tennis Programs across Canada.
Peter Bedard, of North York Little Aces, emphasized the significance of the Racquet Return Program, "The most important lesson we've learned is that once a kid gets an appropriate sized racquet, they can immediately begin to play and feel the excitement of tennis. The Emirates donation allowed us to put right-sized rackets in the hands of kids who may never have otherwise been exposed to the sport."
Racquet donations give fans a chance to win two tickets to the 2012 US Open final on September 9 in New York.
"We are thrilled to continue the hugely successful Emirates Racquet Return Program at the 2012 Rogers Cup," said Don McWilliam, Manager Canada, Emirates airline. "We've been overwhelmed by the fans' support and we hope to receive even more racquets this year, so kids in need can continue developing their tennis skills."
Special activities are planned for Philpott Day on August 10 in Toronto, when children from the Doug Philpott Inner City Children's Tennis Fund will have an opportunity to see their tennis heroes in action and learn the fundamentals of tennis. Each child who attends will receive a brand-new Emirates-donated youth sized racquet.
The donated tennis racquets will be distributed among 11 summer camps in the Toronto-area. Support of the Doug Philpot Inner-City Children's Fund will provide inner-city youth with ongoing access to tennis during the program's camps and beyond.
Emirates and Sports Sponsorship
Emirates is the title sponsor of the Emirates Airline US Open Series and official airline of the Rogers Cup, one of the nine tournaments in the Series. The sponsorship represents a key investment in Canada where Emirates operates a three-times weekly non-stop flight from Toronto to Dubai aboard the A380.
Emirates has a longstanding commitment to sport sponsorships and has been involved in a range of sporting events and teams around the world for more than 20 years. The airline is linked to some of the world's leading sport events, spread across the six continents that Emirates flies non-stop to from Dubai.
Emirates' sports portfolio includes prestigious properties such as the FIFA World Cup, Arsenal Football Club, AC Milan and Godolphin, horse racing's most successful international stable.
Doug Philpott Inner City Children's Tennis Fund
The Doug Philpott Inner City Children's Tennis Fund is Canada's only charity dedicated exclusively to children and tennis, operating numerous summer tennis camps in Toronto's underprivileged neighbourhoods. It has assisted local youth for over 15 years, reaching 4,500 inner-city youth each summer. In addition to tennis skill, Philpott Kids earn important lessons about discipline, cooperation, physical fitness, health and self-confidence.
SOURCE: Emirates AirlineFor further information:
Katherine Griggs for Emirates airline