As all eyes were on Wimbledon last week, three legends of the sport made their own impact away from the grass courts of the All England Club.
On July 4, Roger Federer joined compatriot Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award winner Richard Krajicek and wheelchair tennis icon Esther Vergeer for a clinic at Krajicek Playground Reigersbos in Amsterdam, providing a special day for children supported by the Krajicek Foundation and Esther Vergeer Foundation.
“It was a pleasure to play tennis with all the children. Tennis has connected Esther, Richard and myself throughout our careers, so I think it’s good for us to stand together on the court and motivate and inspire the next generation of players.” said Federer. “It’s great that the Roger Federer Foundation, the Krajicek Foundation and the Esther Vergeer Foundation are all connected through the Postcode Lottery. I had a lot of fun here in the Netherlands. And I hope to see a future champion from here.
“I want to congratulate Richard and Esther for all they do with their foundation and also for their incredible careers.”
Photo credit: Gilian van Twist
The Krajicek Foundation serves vulnerable children in the Netherlands by helping them to play sports in a safe environment. The Foundation, which received an ATP ACES For Charity grant in 2020, is building Krajicek Playgrounds to help create leaders who can impact other children in their community.
“With my foundation, we are doing everything we can to give children living in deprived urban areas the opportunity to play sports and play outside in a socially safe environment close to home,” Krajicek said. “The fact that the National Postcode Lottery then allows Roger Federer to come and give a clinic to these kids is of course fantastic.”
The Esther Vergeer Foundation, created in 2004, introduces disabled children to sport. As part of the clinic, children in wheelchairs were able to gather together with Vergeer, Federer and Krajicek.
“The Esther Vergeer Foundation helps children with physical disabilities to play sports in a regular club. As a result, they learn to cope with their disability, their self-confidence grows and they are stronger in society,” Vergeer said. “So cool that with this special tennis clinic with Roger Federer we were able to show a large audience what sport can do. It was an incredibly beautiful day for us, but above all unforgettable for the children. It’s great that this was made possible by the postcode lottery.