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Federer named Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, Apr 3 (Reuters) World number one Roger Federer today was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations hildren's Fund.

Federer follows in a tradition of high profile figures, including soccer player David Beckham and actors Vanessa Redgrave, the late Danny Kaye and Audrey Hepburn, dedicated to bringing attention and resources to the world's most vulnerable children.

''I am very, very honored and proud,'' Swiss Federer told a news conference at UNICEF headquarters. ''It's really a privilege for me to continue this tradition with UNICEF.'' Federer, the holder of the Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open grand slam titles, has already been involved in projects to help children through his own foundation and its work in South Africa, where his mother is from.

''I may have achieved a lot on the court, but I would like to also achieve more off the court,'' the 24-year-old said.

UNICEF executive director Ann Veneman described Federer as a passionate advocate for children.

''Roger Federer will bring extraordinary energy and talents to working with UNICEF to improve the lives of children throughout the world,'' Veneman said.

Federer, who traveled to New York after winning the Nasdaq-100 Open title on Sunday in Miami, said he hoped to plunge straight into his new role.

''I want to touch the heart of the kids in the field,'' he said. ''This is my first priority right now. I want to get a game plan going.

''I travel the world 11 months of the year and I will get plenty of opportunities.'' REUTERS PM PC2258

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