Legends off the court

Tennis stars serving aces in the humanitarian arena.

With sporting superstardom comes fame, wealth and widespread influence. Off the court, these can be harnessed to help make a difference to some of the issues that plague our world. Here are four philanthropic tennis legends who continue to inspire us every day with their generosity and contribution to society.

Andre Agassi

In 1994, 12 years before he retired from professional tennis, Andre Agassi founded the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. Dedicated to transforming education and creating opportunities for children, it provides underprivileged youth in Las Vegaswith K-12 schooling. Having sacrificed his own education growing up in Las Vegasfor a career in tennis, Agassi has always maintained a strong belief in the value of education. In spite of everything he achieved on the court, he felt that tennis was all he knew and always valued the freedom education offered. Twelve years ago the Foundation opened The Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, and to this day continues to advocate increasing investment and accountability in public schools nationwide. Dubbed the best service returner in the game, Agassi now offers an even bigger service – making a difference to the lives of so many disadvantaged children in the United States. agassifoundation.org

Billie Jean King

A trailblazer throughout her sporting career, Billie Jean King changed the course of women’s tennis and has spent her post-tennis career championing social equality for the LGBTQ community. At the peak of her playing career in 1973, King founded the Women’s Tennis Association, striving to bring women’s tennis on par with men’s tennis. That same year she successfully campaigned to award female players the same prize money in the US Open as men – and every other major tournament has since followed her lead. King serves on the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the National AIDS Fund and the Women’s Sports Foundation. Named by Life magazine as one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th century, King is a true champion in every sense of the word.

Novak Djokovic

For current champion Novak Djokovic, striking while the iron’s hot is a vital part of his philanthropic strategy. Ramping up his charitable efforts while at the peak of his game, Djokovic wanted to start while he was young and still held the world’s attention. Describing his upbringing in war-torn Serbiaas a place where many kids didn’t dare to dream big, he hopes the Novak Djokovic Foundation will turn this around and help the children of Serbiafulfil their dreams. The Foundation’s mission is to help decrease poverty and the sense of social exclusion that prevails in Serbia, while raising awareness of the low enrolment rates in pre-school education. Hosting a star-studded benefit in New Yorkjust one day after losing the 2013 US Open final to Rafael Nadal, Djokovic raised $2.5 million for the cause. novakdjokovicfoundation.org

Serena Williams

On court she’s known for her powerful serve and fighting spirit, but off court Serena Williams has a heart bigger than centre court. The Serena Williams Foundation was set up to achieve two goals – assist youth whose parents and families have been affected by violent crimes and help underprivileged children around the world receive an education. After travelling through Africa and feeling a growing sense of duty to lend a hand, Williams established two schools in Kenya, The Serena Williams Secondary School and the WeeSecondary School. In 2011 she was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and she continues to support UNICEF’s mission to provide a quality education to vulnerable children. Acknowledging what education has helped her achieve in life and business, she is passionate about offering children the same opportunities and a chance for a brighter future. theswf.org

For more information about giving back visit medibankcf.com.au

Which tennis stars inspire you? Share using #GenBetter

Recommended reading - Eat clean recipe book

Recipes

Wild Quinoa Salad Recipe

A colourful, nutty salad to brighten up your summer weeknights.

Read more
Recipes

Goji-Nut Bar Recipe

Packed with the protein of nuts and the natural sweetness of dates, these snack bars are a winner

Read more
Recipes

Apple-Passion Bircher Recipe

Start your day out right with a fantastically fresh and light bircher muesli

Read more
Recipes

Mini oat pancakes recipe

Indulge your tastebuds in these sweet and nutritious pancakes.

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini and Carrot Salad Recipe

Mix it up with buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice and add avocado sauce for a finishing touch

Read more
Recipes

Coco-Cacao Truffles Recipe

Power up your afternoon with these scrummy treats

Read more
Recipes

Papaya, Coconut and Flax Smoothie Recipe

Fresh and light, this papaya and coconut smoothie whisks you away to a tropical island

Read more
Recipes

Avocado Sauce Recipe

Creamy and delicious, this avocado sauce is great for dressings, tacos, as a spread or as a dip

Read more
Recipes

Herbed Buckwheat with Brown Rice and Quinoa Recipe

Get the most out of your grains with this nutritious blend

Read more
Recipes

Lentil Salad Recipe

Whip up this salad in a flash for a warm, crunchy and herb-infused dish

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Pizza Toast Recipe

A healthy way to indulge your pizza craving, with the rich goodness of sweet potato and tomato

Read more
Recipes

Brown Rice Fritters Recipe

These yummy and nutritious fritters are delicious in salads, sandwiches and wraps

Read more
Recipes

Seeded Snack Bar Recipe

Crunch on these tasty snack bars for a revitalising afternoon lift

Read more
Recipes

Vermicelli Noodle Salad Recipe

A crunchy, veggie-ful dish to keep you feeling nourished and vibrant

Read more
Recipes

Spinach Sesame Recipe

Bring out the green goodness of this nutritional powerhouse

Read more
Recipes

Broccolini and Cauliflower Soup Recipe

This creamy soup is as filling as it is flavoursome

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Hummus Recipe

Impress your guests with a yummy rosemary-infused hummus

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Did someone say fries? Try a lighter take on a fast-food classic with the goodness of sweet potato

Read more
Recipes

Blueberry and Lemon Infused Water Recipe

Refresh and recharge with this sweet, light summer beverage

Read more
Recipes

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Here's how you make Brussels sprouts delicious- seriously

Read more
Recipes

Mini Chocolate Cakes Recipe

These naturally sweet little cakes are the perfect chocolatey treat

Read more
Recipes

Green Smoothie Recipe

Get your green fix with this refreshing smoothie, the perfect way to energise your day

Read more
Recipes

Sweet Potato Medley Quinoa Recipe

With the fresh flavours of pomegranate and avocado, this colourful salad is a summery delight

Read more
Recipes

Pumpkin and pea risotto recipe

Nothing says comfort like a creamy risotto – and this one is as light as it is tasty

Read more
Recipes

Fresh Salsa Recipe

You'll never buy packaged salsa again with this yummy recipe

Read more
Recipes

Bean Salad Recipe

Chop up your veggies, toss them in a jar - this colourful and filling salad couldn't be easier

Read more
Recipes

Spicy Bean Dip Recipe

Light and tasty, this protein-rich dip is sure to be a hit.

Read more
Recipes

Homemade Toasted Muesli recipe

This muesli is quick and so yummy – especially when you have a serve straight from the oven.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.