Federer vs Murray: Africa Wins!
Late on April 10 at Zurich's Hallenstadion, after a much-awaited clash of world-class tennis professionals, Roger Federer triumphed over Andy Murray in a one-off tennis match worth about CHF 1.4 million. The real winners on the day, however, were not the players, but thousands of underprivileged African children. They will receive the entire net income of the event. Credit Suisse proudly supported the event as a sponsor and as a long-standing donor to the Roger Federer Foundation.
Continuing a Tradition
This year's 'Match for Africa' was its third edition. Number one was a 2010 double-header against Rafael Nadal, with the first round in Zurich and the second a day later in Madrid, capital of Nadal's home country Spain. Number two in 2014 pitted Federer against his countryman Stan Wawrinka – considered Switzerland's second best male tennis player ever, and currently ranked third in the world. Number three initially was planned for late 2016, but was postponed to this April due to Federer's injury. This year’s Match for Africa generated CHF 1.4 million from ticket sales and from sponsorships.
It Starts with a Foundation
Philanthropy became part of Federer's life in his relative youth of 22 years, shortly before he first acceded to world-number-1 ranking. Today, 14 years later, he recalls why he started his eponymous foundation: "My parents reminded me that I should give back to society, that I had a special opportunity to raise money and awareness about issues other than tennis." Three criteria began to emerge:
- working with children, something that he continues to enjoy (especially now that he and his wife have four of their own);
- involvement in sub-Saharan Africa, where his mother was born, raised, and met Federer's father; and
- education, which Federer notes "is something you can't take away from someone, and there is a huge need for it in southern Africa."
Roger Helps (in Switzerland, Too)
Since 2003 the Roger Federer Foundation has gone from strength to strength: In 2016 it spent CHF 6.3 million in educating more than a quarter of a million disadvantaged children. Currently it supports 12 projects in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South African, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Although initially and still mainly focused on Africa, the Foundation has since 2007 quietly picked up four ongoing projects in Switzerland. Two promote underprivileged children in their recreational activities; the other two improve early childhood education in communities and in disadvantaged families.
Roger Federer Foundation
As part of the sponsorship partnership between Credit Suisse and Roger Federer established in 2009, the bank contributes one million US dollars each year to the Roger Federer Foundation (RFF). These funds significantly supported the launch of a broad initiative to promote early childhood education in Malawi.
Facts and figures
- 2003: Foundation launched
- 4 members of the family on the Board of Trustees
- 15 current initiatives and local partners
- 7 countries with current programs
- 275,000 children benefitting from the current programs
- 1 million children to be reached by 2018
- 29 million Swiss francs invested in total so far (until the end of 2016)