Maria Sharapova announced on Thursday that she is launching a $210,000 scholarship program for students from Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus.
OnTheBaseline has reported that the scholarship will enable 12 talented young people affected in Chernobyl to attend full studies at two leading universities in Belarus.
The programme is a joint initiative of the Maria Sharapova Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where she serves as Goodwill Ambassador.
It is good to see that Sharapova is giving back to a much affected part of the world that is quite close to home for her. Sharapova was born in 1987 in Nyagan, Siberia, after her family fled Gomel in the wake of the Chernobyl accident. However, see then did move to IMG’s Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy the following year, so I dont think it is really that close. Sharapova doesnt have the best name in the press at the moment, because what I have been hearing, on tour she is really not liked by her fellow players. However, good to see she is making some nice guestures, even though they might just be for the press.