TW Exclusive: RF Foundation CEO Says Children open up to Federer in Africa


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TW Exclusive: RF Foundation CEO Says Children open up to Federer in Africa

Janine Händel knows Roger Federer personally for several years, as she is the CEO of the Roger Federer Foundation. Federer has visited Africa several times. He was in Malawi in 2015, and in April this year, he visited in Zambia.

Händel is still amazed at the children's admiration for the world no. 3. 'The most impressive thing, wherever he is in Africa or anywhere in the world, is how he approaches people,' she said. 'There is such a great emphasis.

Children usually are shy, but with Roger, I mean - they are immediately coming to him, hugging him, touching him, and this is really exceptional. He really enjoys himself in these moments. On the homepage of our website there is a picture where Roger is completely surrounded by children and one child touches his ear, which is the most surprising because in Africa touching someone's ear is not a very respectful thing by a child.

But because Roger is such a warm person, children feel no difference.' This year in April Federer came to Zambia, but at the moment there is no specific plan for the next visit yet. 'At this time of the year he is very busy with tennis, and of course it's not easy to actually find the time, because this year in Zambia it was a five-day trip, which means to be away from tennis, from training, from physio, from any kind of preparation for his professional tennis career.

This is why it is not always possible. Roger always says that one day when his tennis career will be over, he will have more time to travel more for his projects.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title