Chinese tennis superstar joins Right To Play to help increase awareness of the organization's work in China and worldwide
BEIJING, CHINA (September 26, 2013) – Right To Play is thrilled to announce Chinese tennis superstar Li Na as its newest global Athlete Ambassador. The announcement was made today in Beijing, China, where Li Na visited Right To Play programs at the Beijing School for the Blind.
“Being with these children helps to give me perspective as an athlete,” said Li Na, who is in the Chinese capital for the China Open. “I get to play tennis every day as my job. It’s hard to imagine being a child and not having the chance to play. It’s every child’s right, no matter where they come from or what their abilities are.
“That’s why I want to be an Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play. I want to help make sure children like the students here are given every opportunity to have fun and learn through play.”
Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Koss, Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity.
Li Na spent the afternoon participating in activities with children from the ages of 10-14 at the School for the Blind, where Right To Play games have been adapted to meet their needs. Led by teachers that have been trained as Right To Play Coaches, the program focuses on using play-based learning to promote inclusion, build confidence and help the children develop communication skills.
The impact witnessed at the school is something that Li Na wants to help grow.
Right To Play currently reaches one million children across more than 20 countries through regular weekly play activities. Over the next five years, Li Na hopes to help provide another 50,000 children with access to Right To Play programs.
While working to support and advocate for play programs in her home country, the international tennis star will also devote her time as an Ambassador to help build and grow programs globally.
“Li Na is truly a global athlete and we are very excited to have her join the team,” says Right To Play President and CEO Johann Koss. “Her tremendous success and profile as a global tennis star, combined with her dedication to children, will bring inspiration to children everywhere and awareness to every child’s right to play.”
Li Na, 2011 French Open champion and 5th world ranked women’s singles player, joins an international team of more than 300 Athlete Ambassadors from 40 countries. As role models, these athletes inspire children and celebrate their successes. They help raise awareness by lending their voice to the cause.
About Right To Play
Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Through playing sports and games, Right To Play helps children in more than 20 countries to build essential life skills and better futures, while driving lasting social change. Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has national offices in Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and regional offices in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. Our programs are facilitated by 600 international staff and more than 13,500 volunteer Coaches.