-World-renowned tennis players Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Bublik and Sebastian Korda visit the Autism Center in Astana
ASTANA, Kazakhstan, September 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- As is tradition at the Astana Open, tennis players Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Bublik and Sebastian Korda visited a center for autistic children in the capital of Kazakhstan.
The athletes received paintings from children from the Asyl Miras Autism Center and in turn gave them gifts.
The assistance provided by the Center is "very important," Wawrinka said. "It's important to help these kids and give them the skills they need in life," the Swiss star added.
"The center is really impressive," said Austrian player Thiem, who also praised the qualified staff who help the children.
The Asyl Miras autism centers are a key project of the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation, which has opened 12 centers in Kazakhstan, including two in Astana.
The Foundation was founded in 2014 by Bulat Utemuratov, a prominent Kazakh businessman and philanthropist who oversees its activities. Utemuratov is president of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, vice-president of the International Tennis Federation and the main investor in the projects managed by the investment group Verny Capital.
Last year, Novak Djokovic, now a 24-time Grand Slam champion, and fellow Grand Slam winners Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev also visited the Center before their first matches, as did Grand Slam semi-finalist Felix Auger. Aliassime.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that early diagnosis of autism is essential.
"A wide range of interventions, from early childhood and throughout life, can optimize the development, health, well-being and quality of life of autistic people," the WHO stated on its website.
"Timely access to evidence-based early psychosocial interventions can improve the ability of autistic children to communicate effectively and interact socially...Monitoring child development is recommended as part of routine maternal and child health care," the WHO continued. .
So far, about 15,000 children with autism spectrum disorder have benefited from the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation's programs.
Like many ATP tournaments, the Astana Open has a strong social dimension, with a series of activities taking place around the event.
Along with the visit to the Autism Center, the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation organized a master class for young players from all over the country with the main players of the tournament. Kazakh Alexander Bublik hosted the event, along with Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, Czech player Jiri Lehecka, Adrian Mannarino of France and Australian Alexey Popyrin.
On the other hand, Dominic Thiem, the Argentine Sebastián Báez, the Spanish Roberto Carballés Baena and the French player Grégoire Barrère participated in a photo session with homeless pets at the Balto animal shelter, to raise awareness about stray pets and work from the shelter to find new owners.
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