Leander Paes has found a new partner. The iconic doubles player has teamed up with Mexican food brand Old El Paso for a charity-centric social media movement, which has donated over 55,000 Mexican meal products to disadvantaged families.
Paes is the brand’s representative in Asia and has donated 5,000 Mexican meal products to help feed disadvantaged individuals in the UAE.
The Indian superstar joined forces with other pro tennis players and also took part in a social media challenge to spread awareness about the programme.
Launched by Australian Nick Kyrgios and Old El Paso last month, the #MessFreeChallenge received support of several international stars like Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, Andy Murray, Gael Monfils, Elina Svitolina, Garbine Muguruza and Belinda Bencic.
Paes’s #MessFreeChallenge nomination came from Muguruza, who attempted an abdominal crunch routine with the tortilla pockets.
Paes’s challenge, however, ran into a roadblock since the food packets sent for him was stuck at Customs. But, as he has done many times on the tennis court, he tweaked it to his advantage and gave a local twist, setting the bar high for the other participants.
“Since the tortilla pockets did not reach me, I made a version of a Nizam roll, and then played tennis with that frying pan,” Paes told The Telegraph.
Paes has now tagged Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, who is the Olympic champion.
“I’m thrilled to have joined this amazing movement with a well-loved brand like Old El Paso, whose Mexican meals I always enjoyed back when I lived in America and even on tour... It’s been great fun being able to participate in the #MessFreeChallenge and being part of something my fellow tennis players and other athletes have participated in while trying to keep it engaging and original.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the Latin touch that Monica brings and to continue the challenge for our tennis family but above all, it’s important to be a force for good and give back together like we are with Old El Paso through various food charities around the globe to help families in need during such moments of global uncertainty,” Paes said.