A special AO Rally for Relief exhibition match is just one of a range of fundraising events, activities and initiatives rolling out in January as part of the Aces for Bushfire Relief program.
AO Rally for Relief will hit Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday 15 January as the world’s best players take to the court to raise funds for bushfire relief and recovery efforts in response to the devastating bushfires ravaging several parts of Australia.
Many of the world’s top players are throwing their support behind the cause, with the names of players participating to be revealed in the coming days.
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Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said January's summer of tennis events marked an invaluable opportunity to make a significant contribution to relief efforts.
“It is heartbreaking to see the devastation the bushfires are wreaking across the country and to see so many people and communities suffering,” he said.
“The Aces for Bushfire Relief initiative gives the tennis community the opportunity to galvanise our sport to support and raise much needed funds to help those who are most in need.”
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Purchasing a ticket to the AO Rally for Relief event is just one way tennis fans and the wider community can assist and contribute.
Several players have already thrown their support behind relief efforts by pledging to donate funds for every ace they hit during the Australian summer of tennis.
Heyy Aussies! I love your country so I decided to join the— Karolina Pliskova (@KaPliskova) January 4, 2020
Aussies players and donate 200 dollars for every ace I hit during my stay in Australia to support and help all the victims of the fires. Let’s get some aces going! pic.twitter.com/5adQTWrcCR
Fans can emulate this idea by participating in a social media campaign designed to encourage anyone, from anywhere, to serve an ‘ace’ and donate to the disaster relief.
The concept is simple: film an 'ace', post it on social media using the hashtag #Aces4BushfireRelief, and donate at redcross.com.au/tennis.
Tennis Australia has already committed a $100 donation for every ace served at the ATP Cup in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, and is working to further mobilise the international tennis community - players, WTA and ATP tours and other tennis bodies and events - to try and reach and surpass the target of $100 per ace at all events in January.
Fundraising efforts will continue at the AO Music for Relief event on Sunday 19 January, where fans can get their ticket to join Jessica Mauboy and other musicians to raise donations.
All proceeds from that event will be donated to bushfire relief, with additional artists to be announced in the coming days.
In addition, more than 1,000 tennis clubs across the country will be encouraged to support the relief efforts as part of the launch of Tennis Australia’s newest adult social play participation program, Open Court Sessions, while signed player memorabilia will form part of an online auction to raise additional funds.
“During the Australian Open we also plan to honour and recognise the incredible work of our firefighters, emergency services workers and volunteers who serve our communities so tirelessly," Tiley said.
“I know fans will turn out in force to the AO Rally for Relief to support this great cause, as well as get involved in all our other fundraising activities.
“We urge everyone to support the tremendous work being done by the Australian Red Cross.
Donations to the Australian Red Cross bushfire disaster relief and recovery efforts can be made here.