Sloane Stephens has partnered with Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that collects new and used shoes and clothing and redistributes it to people in need through direct donations and micro-enterprise partners.
Since its inception in 2006, Soles4Souls has distributed close to 26 million pairs of shoes to the underprivileged in more than 127 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal, and Haiti, as well as fifty U.S. states. Various U.S. tennis events that Sloane is playing in this year have agreed to support Soles4Souls, starting with the Miami Open and continuing throughout the US Open Series this summer. In addition to Miami, the Volvo Car Open (Charleston), the Citi Open (Washington), the Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati), and the Louisville International Open have all signed on as Sloane’s Soles4Souls tournament partners.
“I feel very fortunate to be working with Soles4Souls and to have the opportunity to create a positive change for those less fortunate. As athletes, we receive clothing and shoes that could be donated to create opportunities for others. I am honored to be in a position to make a small difference in the lives of others and help support a powerful and sustainable way for people to lift themselves and their families out of poverty,” said Stephens.
Sloane Stephens, the Miami Open and Soles4sSouls
During the 14-day Miami Open event, shoe collection points will be placed in the player locker rooms and throughout the tournament grounds. Fans that support Soles4Souls and those who donate will have the opportunity to win tickets to one of Sloane’s matches. Miami’s Tennis Plaza will hold donation boxes at the on-site retail tent as well as other locations throughout the Miami area. Tennis players will also autograph their personal items including clothing and shoes, which will then be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Soles4Souls.
“The Miami Open is looking forward to supporting Soles4Souls and Sloane in her great cause. We will do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for players and fans to donate shoes and clothing and will assist the event’s retail partners in donating to Sloane’s charity,” said Adam Barrett, Tournament Director of the Miami Open.
One of the most charismatic and talented players of the next generation, Stephens gained notoriety in 2013 by becoming the first American teenager since 2001 to reach the second week of a Grand Slam. The 22-year-old from Florida reached a career-high ranking of World No.11 in October 2013 and won her inaugural WTA tournament in 2015. She started off the 2016 season by winning her second WTA title in Auckland, New Zealand and followed it up two weeks ago with a victory at the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis. She is the only WTA player this season to capture two titles.