GERRY WEBER OPEN 2013
Federer Visits Children At Hospital In Bielefeld
by ATP Staff|
Five-time Halle champion Roger Federer visited the Bodelschwingsche Stiftung Bethel Childrens Hospital in Bielefeld on Monday, leaving patients with an experience to remember.
The Swiss superstar also joined Gerry Weber Open tournament director Ralf Weber to present a €5,000 donation to chief physician, Professor Dr. Johannes Otte.
“It was nice to see what the Gerry Weber Open does for these kids who are not so well. It was also nice to see the hospital has a vision,” Federer told ATPWorldTour.com. “We visited the room inspired by Marco Chiudinelli, who is a good friend of mine. Next year, they'll do my room. I'm always happy to create some awareness. I've heard a lot about it and was happy to be there in person.”
Weber said, “It was a very touching image seeing Roger sitting amongst the young patients and intensively interacting with them. I am happy that he was able to give the children such great moment and memory.”
Federer is no stranger to philanthropic efforts. The 31-year-old has his own foundation, the Roger Federer Foundation, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and was the ATP’s Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year in 2006
“We have achieved a lot but still I always have the feeling that we are right at the beginning,” Federer said during his pre-tournament press conference.
“I’m always happy when the foundation takes up my time, whether it concerns foundation meetings when we meet three four times per year to choose new projects or discuss which direction to take or which area to support. We have huge plans for the next year. I try to invest a lot of time and money. It really means a lot to me that the children we support can go to school and learn a profession. That is very important and needs time.”
In 2012, the Bodelschwingsche Stiftung Bethel Childrens Hospital was awarded a €10,000 grant as part of the ATP ACES for Charity grant programme. The Gerry Weber Open has donated €65,000 over the past years for three therapy rooms. Named the “Dwingi rooms”, they are decorated with modern therapeutic facilities, which offer young cancer patients more intimacy and independence.
Otte praised the generous support of the tournament, explaining the rooms “will significantly help the healing process of ill children. Our young patients really love these rooms. For us, they are an important therapeutic support.”