Andy Murray Live presented by SSE, the tennis exhibition event set up by the British number one, has raised over £305,000 for two children’s charities – UNICEF UK and Young People’s Futures.
The money raised will be used by Young People’s Futures to buy much needed facilities for young people in Possilpark, one of the most deprived areas of Glasgow. These will include a minibus to transport children to sports facilities, and a caravan to provide respite and holidays for families.
UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, will use the money raised to help protect children in emergencies, such as those affected by the Syria crisis. For example, the funds could help UNICEF provide 29,000 children with thermal blankets to keep them safe and warm when bitter weather hits this winter.
In its first year, the event sold out within 48 hours, giving 10,000 people the chance to see Andy Murray play live at The SSE Hydro. Over half the tickets for the event were priced at less than £25 making it very affordable for all.
Those not able to watch the event live could watch on SKY and over a million people globally tuned in to watch on Facebook – the largest audience of its kind so far on the social network.
Murray commented: “It was always really important to me that this event should be for charity and so I’m really pleased we’ve been able to raise a significant amount in our first year. Children’s charities have become more relevant to me now I’m a father, and both these organisations are doing great work with young people in Scotland and around the world.”
Lily Caprani, UNICEF UK’s Deputy Executive Director said: “We are incredibly grateful to Andy for his continued support as a UNICEF Ambassador to help children in danger. Right now, children’s lives are at risk from sudden disasters, long running and overlooked conflicts around the world. Millions are being forced to leave their homes, risking their lives on dangerous journeys in search of safety. The money raised by Andy and his fans will help UNICEF provide life-saving food, clean water and vaccines, as well education and psychological support for children affected by conflict and disaster around the world.”
Young People’s Futures spokesperson, Ann Lawrance said: “This was truly an amazing opportunity for our charity. Not only will the money raised make a huge difference to us, but also the awareness our charity received through being a partner of the event, was enormously important. It has made a real difference for the children on our programme and for that we are so grateful. Some of our children were able to attend the event, and to see Andy live, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity and will hopefully go on to inspire them to better things.”
Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said: “Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as a top five global sports city with a world-class events portfolio and a state-of-the-art arena in The SSE Hydro, which provided a fantastic backdrop for a thoroughly entertaining evening. We’re also a city of hugely supportive tennis fans, as our hosting of the Davis Cup has shown, so it was no surprise that the event proved to be a sell-out in its first year – in front of a packed home crowd it felt like the roof was going to come off when Andy and Jamie stepped onto the court. To have raised such a terrific sum of money, which will make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in Glasgow and beyond, was the icing on the cake.”
Murray plans to run a similar event in 2017, with more details being announced early next year.