Right To Play is thrilled to announce Czech tennis superstar Petra Kvitova as its new, global Athlete Ambassador. The announcement was made today in Hong Kong, where Kvitova is preparing for the upcoming Shenzhen Open.Petra Kvitova.jpg

"I am so excited to be a Global Ambassador for Right to Play," says Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion and current Women's Tennis Association World number 4. "It is a charity whose work I really believe in—giving children the opportunity to learn through sport is a cause that's very close to my heart."

Today's launch took place on the Blue Pitch at the Chelsea Soccer School in Hong Kong. Chelsea FC have been working with Right To Play since 2007 raising both money and awareness and developing a range of resources using sport to engage, educate and inspire. The pitch is home to Chelsea's football development and community programs in the region and is utilised by hundreds of players every week all playing under the watchful eye of Chelsea Foundation trained coaches. The venue also hosts a unique social inclusion project run by Chelsea, Right To Play and the Hong Kong Soccer School, working with vulnerable young people to provide positive diversionary activities and training, developing skills such as cooperation, leadership and teamwork.

"To be here and see how their programming operates has really opened my eyes to the work of Right To Play," says Kvitova, who spent the morning participating in the charity's educational, play-based programs. "Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children is something I will always remember."

Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Koss, Right To Play is a global organization using the transformative power of play to educate and empower more than one million children around the world. Specially trained Coaches engage the children through play, teaching them to protect themselves from disease, encourage them to attend and stay in school and to resolve conflict peacefully. The programs reinforce new behaviours that create sustainable change, complete with results in improved academic performance, increased participation and attendance in schools, reduced violence, heightened awareness and steps taken to prevent disease. Having experienced the positive impact of sport, Athlete Ambassadors like Kvitova embody the best values of sport and recognize the impact play can have on shaping a better future.

"Petra Kvitova is a remarkable athlete and we are very excited to have her join our team," says Johann Koss, the founder, president and CEO of Right To Play. "Her tremendous success as one of the top tennis stars in the game, combined with her dedication to children will bring invaluable awareness to our work."

Kvitova joins an international team of more than 300 volunteer 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.