Melbourne, Australia, 29 September 2022 |

The Australian Tennis Foundation (ATF), the official charity of Tennis Australia, has teamed up with like-minded charities to inspire brighter futures for children and young people facing adversity through the power of tennis.

The ATF hosted a family day out last week at Tennis HQ in Melbourne Park with the Children’s Cancer Foundation and Little Dreamers – a charity dedicated to supporting young people who provide unpaid care for a family member affected by disability, chronic or mental illness, addiction, or frail age.

Thirty-three children and their families were joined by Australian tennis legend John Fitzgerald for two days of tennis activities at the National Tennis Centre and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Melbourne Park precinct, home of the Australian Open.

The event marked the start of the ATF’s ‘Brighter Days’ initiative, which aims to provide relief from challenging life circumstances for young people and their families through engaging social and tennis activities at flagship tennis facilities across the country.

“Harnessing the power of tennis to develop a sense of belonging and community for children and young people facing social disadvantage has always been the goal of the ATF and its programs,” said Vicki Reid, ATF Executive Director.

“We are privileged to be able to provide these opportunities to the children and families who need it most.”

September also marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to supporting the children, families and clinical researchers who are fighting childhood cancer every single day.

“Although people understand how devastating the impact of childhood cancer is on families and communities, many don’t know the figures. Cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia, with three children succumbing to the disease each week,” said Jeremy Smith, Children’s Cancer Foundation Chairman.

“It’s incredible that the Australian Tennis Foundation is providing families with an opportunity to switch off from the nightmare that is children’s cancer for a day through the power of tennis.”

Eleven-year-old Darcy was just one of the children who enjoyed the day’s activities.

Darcy has been receiving treatment for Anaplastic large cell lymphoma since June, so to have the opportunity to come to Melbourne Park and play tennis is such a welcome distraction,” said mum Karly. “We made some happy memories in an otherwise difficult time.

“Her chemotherapy rounds are awful, and we spend so much time in hospital, so any opportunity to balance that out is something we’re very grateful for.”

The ATF has a legacy of delivering tennis-based programs for children and young people facing adversity, particularly through the national Rally As One initiative designed to support communities devastated by the 2020 bushfires, and the Kids Tennis and Opportunity Knocks initiatives.

> Learn more about the Australian Tennis Foundation

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