SKISTAR SWEDISH OPEN 2011
Soderling Launches Trio Of Charity Initiatives
by ATP Staff|
It’s been a fulfilling week for Robin Soderling at the SkiStar Swedish Open. The World No. 5, who is in the midst of his title bid at his ATP World Tour 250 home country tournament, has been busy with charity initiatives in Bastad: he’s launched his foundation, become an ambassador for the Non-Violence Project and announced a new talent award.
ROBIN SODERLING STIFTELSE (FOUNDATION)
The newly established Robin Soderling Stiftelse aims to help children in need, attempting to improve their everyday lives, assisting those that are economically deprived and providing aid to research focused on children’s diseases.
For its first activity, Robin Soderlings Stiftelse together with the foundation of Queen Silvia’s Children Hospital organized a day for children from the hospital on Monday. “I got to spend time with the children from Queen Silvia's Hospital, play games, paint, and have lunch with them,” said Soderling. “A truly eye-opening experience and a day to remember.”
NON-VIOLENCE PROJECT AMBASSADOR
Also on Monday, Soderling was named ambassador for the Non-Violence Project – Tennis for Peace. The Non-Violence Project Foundation is a successful international youth education and leadership initiative promoting social change.
The symbol of Non-Violence is the knotted gun and its sculpture stands in many places around the world including United Nations in New York. Soderling designed his own interpretation of the knotted gun sculpture together with famous Swedish sculptor Ernst Billgren.
The sculpture will travel around the world with sculptures from other ambassadors to inspire youth to understand how to solve conflicts more peacefully. Soderling joins a cast of strong ambassadors for the Non-Violence Project, such as Yoko Ono, number of world class football players (Buffon, Ballack, Song…) and others.
“The main goal of the organization is to through education inspire, motivate, and engage young people to increase their knowledge about the roots of conflicts and how to reduce violence," said Soderling. "Sport is a very good breeding ground for inspiring, motivating and engaging youth in positive action. NVP has been very creative in the ways they promote non-violence and peace and even won a Facebook award for their upcoming campaign ‘Imagine One Billion Faces For Peace’. It will be interesting to follow."
LAKEROL ROBIN SODERLING AWARD
Soderling, together with Swedish candy brand Lakerol, introduced a new talent award, which aims to encourage young Swedish tennis talents’ continued development and thereby help and ensure the growth of Swedish tennis.
Soderling recognised the first winner of the Lakerol Robin Soderling, Elias Ymer, during a ceremony on centre court Tuesday. The top Swede had personally selected the 15 year old, a winner of two ITF events for juniors, as recipient of the 50,000 SEK scholarship.
“This scholarship is very dear to my heart because as a junior, I know how hard it was to develop into a top player, it’s a long and costly way to go,” said Soderling. “When I was young, I always looked up to all the Swedish legends for their achievements. They were my inspiration to work harder. I hope that in some way I will be able to inspire youngsters as well and help grow tennis in Sweden even more.”