Marcos Daniel from New Zealand on covid, charity and helping people
Today, professional tennis players live mostly in their own separate world, practising their skills, thinking almost exclusively about the needs of themselves and their families. However, there are still those players who share great goals and ambitions that go beyond the distant world of tennis.
Marcus Danielle, a 31-year-old New Zealand player, is ranked 45th in the world in doubles. The athlete has won five ATP doubles titles playing with four different partners. Since 2015, Markus has not played in singles, devoting himself entirely to doubles. He earned $ 74,607 in prize money for 2020.
Regardless of his sporting regime, the adventurous Danielle is currently pursuing a larger goal than himself or his doubles. He recently founded High Impact Athletes, a non-profit organization. The main goal of the creation of HIA is to create a wave of positive influence in the modern world, driven by the generosity and social impact of successful athletes.
HIA focuses on two main areas: extreme poverty and environmental impact. Thus, they are looking for transparent charities and projects to give athletes a guarantee that their donations are safe.
Starting in 2015, Danielle began donating some of his annual prizes to charity. He recalls:
“Since then, I have donated 5% to 10% of my income annually to effective organizations. I make a promise at the beginning of the year, and then at the end of the year, I think about doing more. 2015 was the first year when I was not afraid to lose my money at the end of the year. “
He also said that in 2013 he still had to ask his parents to help me, and in 2014 he had a break-even year with his double results. Danielle calls himself a giver. He also noted that all the participants on the tennis tour are incredibly lucky. Anyone like him who was born in a western country has tremendous support in life.
In early March, when the pandemic first hit the world, Danielle was in New Zealand, playing in the Davis Cup. His wife Caroline – his girlfriend – worked in New York City and joined her family in Connecticut when someone at her law firm contracted covid. Then the tennis player realized that the pandemic could significantly prevent him from staying with Caroline. He quickly returned to the United States.
Danielle spoke about the period when ATP teamed up with an online learning platform. Together they gave a course led by the renowned philosopher Peter Singer, a man whom the athlete himself immensely admires. Danielle got access to a course on effective altruism and effective return, an area that Danielle already knew well.
“It was the concept of high impact athletes. The idea is that there are charities that are literally a thousand times more effective than others. So I thought I could make a difference, not only because of the wealth of professional athletes but also because they know millions of people in their audience. It was then in June of this year that I got to the High Impact Athletes. “
Danielle thinks he is fortunate to be a professional athlete and has been involved in these donations for five or six years. So he can approach other athletes from a position of equality and explain to them why this is important. I say:
“Why don’t you join me? It’s very different from saying, “Hey, I think you should do this.”
In fact, it is a shocking idea for many people to donate x of their income this year to charity this terrible year. But people can see how much a tennis player can see how passionate he is and get an intuitive idea of what he is trying to say and what impact it can have on the world.
Nevertheless, the tennis player found an argument in favour of other players. This is the real HIA authenticity. As Danielle notes, all of these charities dealing with HIA have been vetted by organizations like the reputable GiveWell. This sets HIA apart from other organizations. For example, HIA does not charge a commission for anything. If he donates through HIA, 100% of the money goes straight to the charitable foundation where it can benefit people. This should be the norm in non-profit organizations.
When Danielle spoke to guys like Steph Tsitsipas, Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic – the most prominent names he has – everyone was amazed at how transparent everything is and the amount of return that every dollar can bring through these charities. This is what drives them now.
In the near future, the tennis player hopes to expand his roster of athletes and raise awareness of the charity and HIA in particular. He explains:
“I really hope that by the end of 2021, HIA will transfer $ 1 million to the world’s most effective charities. If I can convince guys like Tsitsipas and others famous in sports to swear allegiance to effective organizations, then I hope that these will be the first dominoes to be overthrown, and the rest will follow. “
However, while immersed in the future of HIA, he still needs to prioritize his pursuits as a doubles player. However, Danielle is well aware of the difficulty of balancing the effort on the court with what he is trying to achieve with the HIA, which takes a lot of time and effort.
According to him, the athlete underestimated how much time and effort he would need on HIA. Over the past four weeks, he found that almost every minute I thought and worked on HIA. Even though it was worth every minute, he thinks he will need help in the future. At this point, he has two unpaid interns who will start helping me.
Time is of the essence for the athlete. Danielle reckons he only has four to five years left in his tennis career before he wants to do something else. In his mind, the 2024 Olympics were last year. This means that the clock is ticking in my professional career.
Danielle also said that he really wants to get the most out of the next three or four years. He truly believes that he is not yet close to his full potential in doubles in terms of titles or rankings. The athlete is currently also pursuing a master’s program in philosophy online, so this is a challenging game.