Tennis: Kiwi Olympic bronze medallist Marcus Daniell joins Nelson Mandela in winning Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award

The New Year is synonymous with resolutions, and a recent one made by Marcus Daniell has seen him join an elite list which includes the likes of Nelson Mandela, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The Kiwi tennis player was awarded the prestigious Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award last month, after announcing he's donating at least 10 percent of his annual winnings to charity - for the rest of his life.

Now, the 32-year-old is encouraging other athletes around the world to do the same.

Winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics was Daniell's career highlight - but it pales in comparison to what he's doing off the tennis court.

"I really do think this is going to be the most meaningful work of my life," he tells Newshub. "I think it's going to overshadow anything I do on a tennis court."

Because a pledge to give 10 percent of his annual winnings to charity mean's he's no longer playing for just himself.

"Not only did it make me want to win more matches, it made me want to improve more, so I could win more matches. 

"It added this whole other incentive to improving my tennis career." 

Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus celebrate winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus celebrate winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Daniell has recently taken it to a new level, launching High Impact Athletes, an organisation he's created to channel donations to the most effective charities in the world, specifically in the fields of extreme poverty and environmental impact.

"It's the only thing that's scientifically proven to make us happier is helping others," he adds.

He's already rallied together some of the biggest names in tennis to come onboard, the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartzman and Milos Raonic.

Some big Kiwi names are also involved Joseph Parker, and canoe slalom Olympic silver medalist Luuka Jones to name a few. 

That collective saw Daniell receive the ATP's Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award.

"Nelson Mandela won it one year. To be on the same list as a guy like that is a hell of a privilege."

The recognition has also seen a potential new recruit take notice.

"After that we saw Novak Djokovic had started following our social media channel."

Just one percent of those winnings could certainly make a mighty impact.