Thursday, 13 January 2011

Novak to join in "Rally for Relief"

TENNIS greats including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters have agreed to take part in a “Rally for Relief” event to raise funds for the Queensland flood victims.

In a pre-Australian Open effort on Sunday, the greatest players in the world will come together to raise desperately needed funds for the growing numbers of victims of Queensland’s worst ever natural disaster.

The event is due to start at 2pm on Sunday at Rod Laver Arena, with entry $20 and seating is ticketed.

Tickets go on sale today (Thursday) at 3pm at Ticketek - – and will also be on sale at the Melbourne Park/Fed Square Box Office from today.

Entry to Rod Laver Arena is $20 & seating is ticketed.

The 16-time Grand slam winner said he simply had to do something to help.

"Along with many of the other players I was moved by the devastation caused by the floods in Australia," Federer said.

"We just wanted to do something to help aid the recovery because we know there are thousands of Australians who will continue to suffer as a result of this disaster."

Arch rival Nadal said he hoped the efforts of the tennis community would help bring worldwide attention to the disaster.

"This is a terrible tragedy, not only the loss of life but the destruction of people's homes," Nadal said.

"I am pleased to be able to contribute in some way to help bring it to the attention of the world and raise some money for the victims in the process."

Tennis Australia said they would co-ordinate a fundraising effort throughout Australian Open 2011, including a "Shirt off their Backs" auction of autographed player apparel belonging to some of the biggest names in the sport.

The ATP and WTA also pledged of $10 for every ace served by players at the Brisbane International, Medibank International Sydney, Moorilla International in Hobart and the Australian Open.

Australian great Pat Rafter said the intention was to raise $1 million for the appeal with the Rally For Relief.

"I would like to think we can raise close to a $1million, which seems such a small insignificant amount when you think of the billions and billions of dollars (they need) ," Rafter said.

""As many players will be involved that want to get involved, have a good fun day and try and get everyone to dig deep."

The latest sporting effort to help Queensland in its hour of need comes after Socceroos superstar Tim Cahill dedicated his Asian Cup double against India to flood victims – and then offered a once in a lifetime experience to the highest bidder on ebay.

The auction item includes two business class airfares to Britain from anywhere in Australia, donated by Emirates Airlines, to watch, from his Cahill’s private box, any Everton home match this season.

England batsmen Kevin Pietersen also did his bit by offering his Ashes Test shirt, a bat used in the series and return flights and accommodation to the one-dayer between Australia and England in Perth on February 6.

The England and Australian players also offered up their match payments, while players collected in buckets at the T20 international in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

Fellow cricket star Chris Gayle offered up one of his West Australian playing shirts to the cause.

Queensland and NSW players will donate their match fees from Saturday night's Big Bash Twenty20 cricket game at the Gabba, and Melbourne Rebels chairman Harold Mitchell pledged $100, toward the flood relief appeal.

Shane Warne and former England skipper Michael Vaughan are attempting to arrange a Legends game at the MCG.

And Collingwood premiership superstar Scott Pendlebury is attempting to win support for an all-star AFL match the night before the NAB Grand Final.

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