World No. 27 Roger Federer has announced an incredible donation to support Ukraine’s school children amid Russia’s continued invasion of the country.
The Swiss tennis great revealed on social media on Saturday morning (AEDT) that his foundation, the Roger Federer Foundation, will be making a donation of $673,000 “to establish access to continued schooling for Ukrainian children”.
“My family and I are horrified seeing pictures from Ukraine and heartbroken for the innocent people who have been so terribly affected. We stand for peace,” Federer wrote.
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“We will provide assistance to children from Ukraine who need care, about 6 million Ukrainian children are currently out of school and we know it’s a very critical time to provide access to education and would like to support them to deal with this extremely traumatic experience.
“Through the Roger Federer Foundation we will be supporting War Child Holland with a donation of US$500,000 to establish access to continued schooling for Ukrainian children.”
Federer has been in regular contact with former world No. 31 Sergiy Stakhovsky, a Ukrainian who is currently fighting Russia as part of his country’s defence.
Stakhovsky recently revealed Federer and his wife Mirka had been in regular contact to assist with efforts to help those who have been impacted by the invasion.
“Roger Federer wishes that there would be peace soon,” Stakhovsky said.
“He and (his wife) Mirka’s foundation are looking for ways to help the children in Ukraine and also to look after some in Switzerland.”
Federer, 40, currently holds 20 grand slam titles, tied with Novak Djokovic for the second most won by a man, behind only Rafael Nadal’s 21.
Federer has not played since Wimbledon last year after undergoing knee surgery.
He had been looking to make his return for the grasscourt swing this year but his coach Severin Luthi said earlier this month that a return at Wimbledon may be unlikely as the Swiss was still in the rehabilitation phase.
Federer’s generous contribution comes after another former men’s No.1 tennis player, three-time major champion Andy Murray, announced on March 8 that he would be donating his prize money for the rest of the year” to humanitarian efforts aimed at helping children in Ukraine.
Meanwhile the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said it will be donating 10% of ticket revenue from the best-of-five qualifier against Ukraine to a crisis relief fund, adding that local sponsors will also make donations.
“We’re committed to welcoming the Ukrainian team and to making sure they have all the support they need leading up to and during the competition,” USTA chief executive Stacey Allaster said.
“Together, we will use this event to continue advocating for peace, along with providing aid and support for the people of Ukraine.”
The tie will be held on April 15-16, on an indoor hard-court venue in Asheville, North Carolina.
– With agencies