The charitable giving of Andy Murray
10 July 2013 | By Cause4 staff
As ‘Murray Mania’ has swept across the Cause4 office, and indeed the rest of the UK, I thought I would take this timely opportunity to look at the charitable work of our Wimbledon champion. Murray has given his time, skill, sponsorship opportunities and money to a number of charities over the past few years. As he rises to the top of his game, and thus increases his profile and influence, his support is more valuable than ever.
Malaria No More UK – Murray is a founding member of the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council. Malaria No More UK work to end suffering and deaths from malaria. Murray fronted the launch of this charity alongside David Beckham in 2009, where the two athletes played tennis over the world’s longest tennis net, made out of a mosquito net. Murray and Beckham went on to Downing Street where a mosquito net was hung over the front door of No.10 to reinforce the charity’s message.
Make-A-Wish Foundation – Murray teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make 12-year old Elijah’s dreams come true. Elijah was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2010 and endured a course of intensive chemotherapy. Elijah dreamt of becoming a professional tennis player and was frustrated when his treatment forced him to stop playing. Andy met Elijah at the Queen’s Club during the Aegon Championship. Elijah was given the opportunity to play with Murray on the practice court, and was introduced to Andy’s close friend, Ross Hutchins, who is also battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, before taking his seat to watch the centre court action.
Sport Relief and Comic Relief – Murray has shown his more light-hearted side in a number of sketches for Comic Relief and Sport Relief. In 2010 Murray teamed up with actor, James Corden, reprising his role of the much-loved character, Smithy, to play tennis. In 2011 he subjected himself to the unique characters from Outnumbered, where he gets asked if he’s British or Scottish and replies “depends whether I win or not”.
The Global Fund – Murray has joined HEAD Tennis in their partnership with The Global Fund’s (RED) campaign in the fight against AIDS. A number of the world’s best tennis players, including Murray, demonstrated their support by carrying the (HEAD)RED Special Edition racquet bag on court at the French Open Grand Slam tournament. These tennis players also filmed a video of themselves packing their favourite items into one special (HEAD)RED bag.
The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity – Murray generously donated his £73,000 winnings from the Aegon Championship to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Murray’s best friend, Ross Hutchings, is being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea. Shortly after winning the championship Murray is back on court for the Rally Against Cancer, which has raised over £150,000 so far. Murray teamed up with Tim Henman to take on Ivan Lendl and Tomas Berdych before a number of celebrities, including Boris Johnson, Richard Branson, Michael Macintyre, Eddie Redmayne, Jimmy Carr and Jonathan Ross, took to the court.
What other sports players to you admire for their charity work? Should more athletes be donating money to charity? What more could be done to encourage athletes to support charities?