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ATP Launches Kids First Initiative; Gambill Named 2001 ATP Kids First Chairman
Memphis, Tennessee, USA – The ATP today launched its Kids First initiative at a press conference during the Kroger St. Jude tournament.  ATP Kids First will serve as an umbrella brand program to increase the global awareness of all that men’s professional tennis does to benefit children.

 As part of the Kids First initiative, ATP player Jan-Michael Gambill has been named as 2001 ATP Kids First Chairman.  Assuming the post from last season’s chairman Tim Henman, Gambill will participate in on-site charity events and presentations and act as a spokesman for ATP Kids First.

“I am extremely proud and excited to be the 2001 ATP Kids First Chairman,” said Gambill.  “Over the last three years, I’ve actively supported the Cat Tales Zoological Park in Mead, Washington, USA.  But I’m especially looking forward this year to branching out my charity efforts and helping children and tennis in my role as ATP Kids First Chairman.”

ATP Kids First reinforces the efforts made everyday by players, tournaments, staff and fans who support various charities, grass roots and promotional programs.  The program is committed to “Giving Kids an Advantage” and will bring a variety of activities and events to locations around the world. 

“ATP Kids First encapsulates all that we, the governing body, the players and tournaments do to support children,” said ATP Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles. “By linking our international efforts, we can provide more support and also spread the word about the many important charitable activities provided by the men’s tennis circuit.”

In 2001, ATP Kids First will sponsor on-site activities at the following tournaments: Kroger St. Jude, Memphis, TN, USA; Tennis Masters Series Indian Wells, Indian Wells, CA, USA; Tennis Masters Series Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo, Monaco; Nottingham Open, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

 The new initiative was launched in Memphis with ATP, tournament and player representatives on-hand for the festivities. Gambill along with Mac Winker, Kroger St. Jude owner and 1999 winner of the ATP Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award, welcomed the group and participated in on-court and media activities. 

 As part of his new role, Gambill, who finished last year at No. 33 in the ATP Champions Race and is featured as one of the ATP’s “News Ball Please” brigade of rising stars, will donate $20 USD for every ace he serves in 2001, a figure that will be matched by the ATP.  Gambill also plans to donate $5,000 USD for any tournament title that he wins in 2001.  All funds raised will go to Gambill’s specially designated groups, the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane, Washington, USA, and the Washington Tennis Association.  Additionally, Gambill’s clothing and footwear provider, adidas, will contribute an undisclosed sum and technical products for the two groups.

ATP Kids First will continue to build on the ten-year efforts of the former ATP Charities program.  Since 1990, ATP Charities has helped to raise more than $24 million USD for various charities and programs worldwide. 

Gambill joins an elite group of ATP Charities/Kids First Chairmen including Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Guy Forget, Tim Henman, Andrei Medvedev, Gustavo Kuerten, Goran Ivanisevic, Pete Sampras and co-chairmen Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

For further information, please contact:

Katie Owen
ATP Kids First Coordinator
T: (904) 285-8000, ext. 243
F: (904) 285-8271
M: (904) 613-8861
E: kowen@atptennis.com