Djokovic has new ti­tle — UNICEF good­will am­bas­sador

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Top-ranked ten­nis star Novak Djokovic has a new ti­tle — good­will am­bas­sador for the U.N. chil­dren’s agency, UNICEF.

The world No. 1 men’s player has worked on chil­dren’s is­sues for UNICEF in his na­tive Ser­bia since 2011. UNICEF has now ap­pointed him a global good­will am­bas­sador.

UNICEF Deputy Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Yoka Brandt said Wed­nes­day Djokov- ic’s new job rec­og­nized his work in Ser­bia to im­prove the lives, par­tic­u­larly of marginal­ized chil­dren, and to pro­mote early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion.

“Novak Djokovic is a true cham­pion for chil­dren around the world,” she said. “He has shown that a pow­er­ful voice and pow­er­ful ac­tions can make a dif­fer­ence for chil­dren, es­pe­cially when they are very young.”

Djokovic grew up in Ser­bia dur­ing the Balkan wars and be­came a top ten­nis player there. He has gone on to win nine ten­nis ma­jors and is con­sid­ered one of the sport’s all-time great­est play­ers. He is a fa­vorite to win New York’s U.S. Open, which be­gins next week.

Djokovic said he is hon­ored to be a UNICEF good­will am­bas­sador “and to con­tinue to help de­fend and up­hold chil­dren’s rights.”

“The early years of life are cru­cial,” Djokovic said. “When well nur­tured and cared for in their ear­li­est years, chil­dren are more likely to sur­vive, to grow in a healthy way ... and be­come pro­duc­tive and suc­cess­ful cit­i­zens of so­ci­ety.”

Djokovic joins a VIP list of UNICEF good­will am­bas­sadors that has in­cluded en­ter­tain­ers Danny Kaye, Au­drey Hep­burn, Katy Perry, Sir Roger Moore and Shakira, soc­cer star David Beck­ham and women’s ten­nis star Ser­ena Wil­liams.

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