Stop War Start Tennis is dedicated to helping victims of landmines and other weapons of war in past and present conflict zones resume an active lifestyle.
Professional tennis player and Champion for Peace, Aisam Qureshi believes that sport can give hope to the disabled and also, serve as a tool for reconciling communities that have been torn apart during war.
"Aisam is not only a very talented player but we also have great respect for him as a human being. What he is doing on and off the court is helping and inspiring people around the world. Aisam has already created a great legacy that will be remembered for years."
"Sport's greatest victory is not measured in terms of medals. It is measured by its ability to positively change people's lives and mentalities and bring them hope. That's exactly what Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi succeeded in doing through his fierce advocacy for peace, friendship and tolerance. He embodies what champions can achieve when they use their celebrity for a good cause. The message given by Aisam's life is a unique source of inspiration for young people across the globe, but its significance does not stop there. He uses his charisma and sporting success to build bridges amongst the entire international community, his fellow athletes and political authorities alike. I hope that his appeal will lead the way to sustainable peace."
"Aisam is a kind-hearted and down-to-earth person who can leverage his celebrity status to help the communities who need direct assistance to recover from natural shocks and poverty. He interacts with officials, media, and communities with empathy, humility and a quiet dignity which serves as an example for others. I personally and UNDP Pakistan as a whole wish him the best in his professional and personal life. Aisam possesses a rare ability to reach the hearts and minds of people throughout the world."
"To have the cause that Aisam has had, and then to pursue it for this long a period has not only prepared him for any adversity and missions in the future, but it has also provided a guiding light to youth across Pakistan. His example of following your dreams and ideals that might seem impossible at the beginning is truly great."
"Aisam Qureshi has a mission to use tennis as a vehicle to shine a light on tennis players with a disability who have been victims of landmines and other tools of war. By visiting the people around the world who have been disabled, Aisam Qureshi hopes to encourage and enlist support to help rebuild their lives through the sport of tennis. By supporting wheelchair tennis in these affected areas, we can and do offer hope and opportunities."
“Aisam understands the importance of team and working with others to make a difference. He showed great leadership playing World TeamTennis, a quality that is only amplified in his tremendous commitment to helping others. Aside from his extraordinary tennis success, Aisam is a true champion.”
Stop War Start Tennis, founded by Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, is dedicated to promoting peace through tennis. The Foundation aims to use the sport as a bridge to unite communities and nations that have been torn apart by conflict to reconcile their differences and heal the wounds of war.
Qureshi has served as UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador for Early Recovery since 2010, and raises funds for flood-affected victims through his family’s Haq Foundation. He is also a member of “Champions for Peace”, through which athletes aspire to help disadvantaged communities through sport.
Qureshi visits numerous project sites through Stop War Start Tennis, partaking in a meet and greet, on-court tennis activity, and official meeting to discuss how the project can be further developed. “Whether it be wheelchair tennis projects, amputee centres, or displaced peoples and orphanages, I truly believe that our great sport of tennis can bring some joy and happiness into the lives of the young and old,” says Qureshi.
In 2012, he travelled to Iraq, where he met with a victim of sectarian violence and visited a club specifically created for handicapped athletes; Sri Lanka, to back a wheelchair tennis program through which amputee soldiers are rehabilitated back into society; and Cambodia, to support the Killing Fields to Tennis Courts campaign that allows children to play tennis in areas cleared of landmines. Qureshi also revisited Peshawar in his home country of Pakistan, where he is attempting to revive the local tennis club following its destruction by those displaced by the Taliban.
A recipient of an inaugural ATP ACES For Charity grant in 2011, Qureshi donated $10,000 to support the United Nations Development Program’s flood recovery efforts in Pakistan. He raised additional funds by auctioning memorabilia collected from ATP World Tour players including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. He visited the areas ravaged by the 2010 floods through his role as UNDP Ambassador.
At the end of 2012, it was announced that in 2013, Stop War Start Tennis will receive a $10,000 grant from ATP ACES For Charity.