The first Baha Mar Cup in 2019, raised more than $100,000 to directly benefit people affected by Hurricane Dorian through the Baha Mar Foundation. Despite the wipeout year that was 2020, Bahamian tennis legend Mark Knowles has once again teamed up with Baha Mar to host the second Cup, a one-of-a-kind celebrity tennis fundraising event.
Tennis legends Andy Roddick, Knowles, James Blake, Jennifer Brady and Cliff Drysdale will take the court at Baha Mar Racquet Club for the star-studded tennis tournament to benefit the Baha Mar Foundation supporting the Mark Knowles Children’s Tennis Initiative on November 6.
“Following the success of our inaugural tennis tournament that took place in 2019, we are thrilled to announce the return of the Baha Mar Cup this November,” said Graeme Davis, president, Baha Mar. “We are both honored and humbled to welcome back our loyal guests, friends, celebrated athletes and supporters who will join us for a weekend filled with an array of tennis and culinary activities, as we continue to raise awareness and funds to support the Bahamian youth tennis community, enhance public tennis facilities and provide opportunities for at-risk children.
“It is a privilege to again be hosting the Baha Mar Cup and share the beauty and warmth of my home country with the world,” said Knowles, Baha Mar Cup Tournament host and a former world number one doubles player and multiple Grand Slam champion, who is also a five-time Olympian. “I am looking forward to being part of such an amazing initiative and am overjoyed to have these efforts benefit the Mark Knowles Children’s Tennis Initiative.”
Knowles’ initiative has donated one million dollars over the past 13 years to a wide variety of charities – The Sassoon Heart Foundation, The Cancer Society of Pediatric Care, Bahamas Special Olympics, The Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled, among others, as well as provided $200,000 in tennis scholarships for junior players in The Bahamas.
The foundation is built on three pillars: community, culture and conservation. Through volunteerism and monetary donations, the mission is to champion sustainable conservation efforts, celebrate the diverse cultural traditions and artistic expressions of The Bahamas and strengthen the community through improvements in education.
Knowles has previously said The Baha Mar Cup is an opportunity to give back to the community, and that Baha Mar has always been about giving back to the community. The Cup, he said, is a nice platform through which to do it.
The multi-day fundraising event features a one-of-a-kind Pro-Am Tournament, and a youth clinic, exhibition game, auction and awards ceremony and dinner specially prepared by six-time James Beard award-winning celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson at his new restaurant, Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House.
The tournament will kick off with Taste of SLS Baha Mar, an incredible dining experience featuring culinary personalities from Cleo, Carna by Dario Cecchini, Fi’lia and Katsuya; and a special performance by singer, songwriter, humanitarian and philanthropist, John Legend.
As he prepares to host his second Baha Mar Cup, life has come full circle for Knowles, who grew up at the Emerald Beach Hotel, then Nassau Beach Hotel tennis courts; the Baha Mar courts are in the same general vicinity.
“If anything’s ever my home, this is my home,” he said prior to the first Cup. “I probably spent more time on these grounds than anywhere else in the world, because my formative years were spent here every single day, hitting on the wall at Emerald Beach and then on to Nassau Beach, so it’s really special to look around here and see what an incredible place this is, first of all. It’s just pretty amazing to think back to Emerald Beach days, but it’s a beautiful tennis facility here [at Baha Mar] and what I love most is that Baha Mar is really about giving back to the community, and also from the tennis angle it’s really special.”
For more information on tickets and participating in The Baha Mar Cup tennis tournament, contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org.