Rafa Nadal Foundation
Rafa Nadal Foundation
by ATP Staff|
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal launched his foundation, the “Rafa Nadal Foundation”, in February 2008, with the aim of supporting and providing opportunities for socially disadvantaged young people. The mission statement of the Foundation is:
“We want to provide an opportunity for children and adolescents with disabilities, those coming from underprivileged surroundings and those limited by an unfortunate family environment, who run the risk of being excluded from society.
“We offer educational programmes using sport as a tool for personal and social integration, passing on values such as effort, self-improvement and respect in order to encourage their self-esteem and confidence.”
The Rafa Nadal Foundation is currently affiliated with three projects, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation in Antapur, India; the Special Olympics; and the Aldeas Infantiles SOS.
In October 2010, Nadal opened the Rafael Nadal Tennis School in Anantpur, India, which hosts district, state and national-level tournaments, as well as laying equal emphasis on the children’s education and tennis training. The general objective of the project is to broaden the educational options of youngsters in Antapur and encourage the practice of sport as a tool for human development and socialisation.
Talking recently about his Foundation's work in Antapur, Nadal said,
"We had a good opportunity about work there (Antapur) with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation. That's very important foundation of Spain, and they have his base in India.
"What they did in Anantapur, in that place, is amazing for more than 20 years. So we have opportunity to go there and to work with them, to build tennis courts, to build a school for the kids.
"For me and for my mum, for Claudia, it was a fantastic experience, and we learn a lot about what they did there and how they work. For us is important thing right now we are trying to be bigger and bigger all the time, but we need to get experience from these projects.
"I want to start working for Spain, we have a lot of work to do in Spain, too. And if the Foundation in the future is enough big, enough important to can work in all different parts of the world, I will be more than happy, no, with that. But in the beginning I would like to start in my country."
In supporting the Special Olympics, the Rafa Nadal Foundation has four principle objectives: to promote the practice of tennis and to improve the ability of the Special Olympics participants who already practice it; to encourage sport among 8-25 year olds with intellectual disabilities; to teach and pass on values such as effort and self-improvement; to promote the participation of athletes with intellectual disabilities on a national and international stage.
Aldeas Infantiles SOS is the most important private organisation of aid to children on an international level, with the aim of taking care of children and youth who are in vulnerable situations. Through the medium of sport, Aldeas Infantiles SOS and the Rafa Nadal Foundation hope to help children feel like people who act, think, reflect and construct.
In December 2010 Nadal and Roger Federer came together to play two sell-out exhibitions in Zurich and Madrid to raise money for their respective Foundations. Following the match in Madrid, the Rafa Nadal Foundation Gala Dinner was held, with Spanish singer Julio Iglesias flying into the capital city specially to perform.