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Indian Tennis Tourny Boosts UN Gender Initiative

Indian tennis tournament serves up donation to boost UN gender initiative

5 March 2008 - The organizers of a women's tennis tournament in India are donating $100,000 to an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that aims to encourage the emergence of gender equality around the world.

Funds from the donation from the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association - the single biggest contribution so far to the initiative - will support several projects, including one in the Bangalore region of India that provides opportunities for women and girls to assume leadership roles in the community.

The United States tennis ace Venus Williams, a winner of six Grand Slam singles crowns and a 'Promoter of Gender Equality' as part of this initiative, said she was "really inspired and motivated" by the donation from the association, which runs the Bangalore Open being held this week.

"These much-needed funds will allow for the creation of a programme in this region of India that will help form future women leaders in Indian society and beyond," she said.

The UNESCO programme, run in conjunction with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour since 2006, represents the first time that the agency has partnered with a professional sports association in such a way.

The partnership aims to raise awareness and funding through the named Promoters, as well as through mentoring, scholarship and fellowship projects designed to create opportunities and the kind of environment for women and girls to succeed in all walks of life.

ENDS

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