World tennis star, Roger Federer was joined on court by multi-billionaire, Bill Gates and two others in a charity tennis match in Seattle, U.S. that raised funds for Africa. Federer and Gates were joined by American tennis player, John Isner and guitarist Mike McCready from Pearl Jam.
Playing to raise money for the Swiss’ very own Roger Federer Foundation, at the end of the event it was announced that around $2 million had been raised for the charity and its efforts in Africa.
The crowd, 16,000 strong, were treated to an unconventional doubles match that paired Federer and Gates up against Isner and McCready.
The main showdown was between Federer and Isner. Their head-to-head record in competitions put the Swiss ahead by 5-2. The game was closely fought but in the end, 35-year-old Federer prevailed.
Federer’s Foundation is focused mainly on improving education on the African continent. It is currently operational in six Southern African countries covering 277,000 children so far.
All activities of the foundation are realised and implemented by local non-governmental authorities in close collaboration with the local communities. Federer has made several trips to the continent as part of the operations of his foundation.
The countries it operates in and the respective number of beneficiaries are as follows:
South Africa – 75,000
Malawi – 62,000
Zambia – 53,000
Zimbabwe – 78,000
Namibia – 4,600
Botswana – 4,500
In his welcome message on the foundation’s website, Federer wrote: “I believe in the power of people. They might only need some initial empowerment.
“We know that a good education empowers children by allowing them to take their future into their own hands and play an active part in shaping it. And we trust in the best will of parents that they want to ensure the best possible opportunities for their children.
“For more than 12 years my Foundation has therefore been committed to enable parents and local communities in providing these children with the opportunity for a good education. We aim to reach a million children by 2018.”
The event itself was considered a success and will hopefully ignite the desire for other celebrities to find creative ways to raise money for those in need.