Andy Murray picks up the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award after donating more than £500,000 of his prize money this year to supporting children in Ukraine – as the three-time Grand Slam winner says there are ‘things more important than sport’
- Andy Murray has been given a gong after donating prize money to Ukraine relief
- The tennis star picked up the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award for his efforts
- The ex-Wimbledon winner says there are ‘more important things than sport’
Andy Murray has been honoured in recognition of him donating the lion’s share of his official prize money this year to relief efforts in Ukraine.
The 35 year-old Scot was today given the ATP Tour’s Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award after pledging more than £500,000 towards the UNICEF fund.
In mid-March Murray announced that for the rest of 2022 all his purses from tournament play would go towards the charity supporting children in the war-torn country.
Andy Murray has been given the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award after donating more than £500,000 of his prize money this year to the Ukraine war relief
Murray hopes the donation will help 5.2m children in Ukraine get the assistance they need
The twice Wimbledon champion, who has been preparing for the coming season, acted after seeing the traumatic pictures resulting from Russia’s invasion.
‘When all the images on the news showing what was happening to families began pouring in, it was devastating,’ said Murray. ‘ Houses were bombed and families were displaced. Young children were affected by this, with many injured and in some cases dying. I wasn’t sure what I could do to help.
‘Shortly after I decided that from Indian Wells onwards, I would donate my prize money for the rest of the season to UNICEF’s humanitarian response – the final total was just over $630,000 (£512,000). It seemed like something that would give me some extra motivation this year. I thought I could also raise some awareness and hopefully get others involved in helping, too.
Murray said the worrying images circulating online forced him to take action himself
‘There are 7.5 million children in Ukraine and after more than nine months of increased conflict, 5.2 million of them are in need of assistance. UNICEF is working around the clock to keep children safe by ensuring child health and protection services are sustained, critical supplies are delivered to families and that children have clean water and nutritious food.
‘When you see images of children on the news who were impacted by things like this, that makes it even more difficult to stomach. I have four young children who are really fortunate that everything is fine with them.
‘But being a parent, it affects you differently. You try to put yourself in their shoes. If something like that happened with your own family, how difficult would that be? It is hard to fathom.
The three-time Grand Slam winner insists there are bigger things than sport to worry about
‘I think in situations like these it is important to be empathetic and do what you can to help others. When I was younger, in my early 20s, I didn’t really think about anything else except my tennis. As you start to get older and maybe mature a little bit, you realise there are things that are more important than sport.
‘In 2014, I became a UNICEF UK Ambassador, the reason to do the right thing is not for an accolade like this, but it is nice that it is appreciated somewhere.’
Murray is now back from a training stint in Florida with Ivan Lendl, and will travel to Australia straight after Christmas for the new season.
Prior to that he is playing for Scotland in the ‘Battle of the Brits’ match against England, in Aberdeen on December 21 and 22.