Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar joins global celebrities David Beckham and Novak Djokovic for a special UNICEF campaign that highlights the critical role played by fathers in children’s early development.

The UN initiative “Super Dads” celebrates fatherhood and highlights the role of love, play and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children.

Academy Award winning US actor Mahershala Ali, British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Australian actor Hugh Jackman are other celebrities involved in the campaign.

“When I was a young child, my father gave me the right amount of love, freedom and support to shape who I am today,” Tendulkar, a UNICEF Ambassador, said in a statement.

“Every kid needs protection, love, good food and play to support growth and development, and it’s up to both parents to provide these,” he said.

Djokovic said as a father, he has seen for himself the impact that love and positive action has had on his child during the early years of life.

“Being a new parent isn’t easy. There are many challenges that fathers across the world face. This campaign is about supporting and encouraging fathers so they can be the Super Dads their kids desperately need,” said the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Videos and photos of celebrity fathers in the campaign will be coupled with stories of super dads from across the world, including those who raising their children in less than privileged circumstances.

UNICEF added that good parenting in early childhood, especially during the first 1,000 days, sparks neural connections in children’s brains, laying the foundation for their future successes. Research suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem and life-satisfaction in the long-term.

The ‘Super Dads’ initiative forms part of UNICEF?s #EarlyMomentsMatter campaign, which aims to drive increased understanding of how children’s environments and experiences in early childhood can shape their future health, well-being, ability to learn, and even how much they will earn as adults.

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