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UNICEF & Pro Tennis Raise Funds For Immunisation

Doubles Team Of UNICEF And Professional Tennis To Raise Funds For Global Immunization

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is teaming up today with the ATP, the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuit, in a new global doubles to harness the power of tennis to help ensure the health, education and protection of children everywhere.

"The UNICEF-ATP partnership will enable us to reach a whole new audience with critical information about children," UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said of the project, which will focus on fundraising for immunization among its first acts.

"We are excited about working with ATP's staff, players and fans to raise money for children and demonstrate how sports can make a significant difference in children's lives," she added.

The joint announcement is set for tonight's ATP All-Star Rally for Relief, an exhibition event benefiting UNICEF at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, featuring an unprecedented gathering of elite players including Swiss superstar Roger Federer, who worked with the ATP Foundation to organize the historic exhibition event.

Participants include Andre Agassi, Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Tim Henman, Guillermo Coria, Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian and Paradorn Srichaphan.

The partnership, to be called ACE (Assisting Children Everywhere), will focus on fundraising and advocacy. In targeting global child immunization programmes, UNICEF noted that while vaccines protect nearly three-quarters of the world's children against major childhood illnesses, more than 2 million children die annually from diseases that could be prevented by inexpensive vaccines.

For just $17, a child can be fully immunized against the top six childhood killer diseases - pertussis, childhood tuberculosis, tetanus, polio, measles and diphtheria.

"We are delighted to work with UNICEF to use the power of tennis to help create a better world," ATP Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles said. "We hope to raise considerable funds to support UNICEF's work on behalf of children and to show the world that tennis is more than just a game. Sport can be a powerful force of change for children and families everywhere."

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