Stefanie Graf – WOMAN of ACTION™

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A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this woman, a sensitive visionary that is Taking Action to better the lives of children! Her foundation and mission in life today is to heal and renew hope and strength inside the hearts of children that have been abused or traumatized in conflict. She works diligently caring for those little souls that suffer from night terrors, through her focus on what she refers to as ‘psychological rebuilding‘.

 

 

 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 

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Stefanie Graf

 

THE TIME IS ALWAYS NOW!

For me, the focus and energy level that I get from physically challenging myself on a daily basis – not to mention the obvious health benefits – is irreplaceable.

 

 

Born 14 June 1969, in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany, Steffi Graf was introduced to tennis by her father Peter Graf, a car and insurance salesman and aspiring tennis coach, who taught his three-year-old daughter how to swing a wooden racket in the family’s living room. She began practising on a court at the age of four and played in her first tournament at five. She soon began winning junior tournaments with regularity, and in 1982 she won the European Championships 12s and 18s.

In the 1990s, she briefly dated fellow German tennis player Alexander Mronz and had a long term relationship with racing car driver Michael Bartels.

She married Andre Agassi on 22 October 2001, with only their mothers as witnesses. Four days later Graf gave birth, six weeks prematurely, to their son Jaden Gil. Their daughter, Jaz Elle, was born 3 October 2003.

In a nutshell, she was a tennis pro by the age of 13, she stayed at the top of the women’s tour for a record 377 weeks.

 
 
Steffi Graf im UKE

She is the founder and chairperson of “Children for Tomorrow“, a non-profit foundation for implementing and developing projects to support children who have been traumatized by war or other crises.

“Children for Tomorrow” celebrates 15th anniversary – Highest number of refugees in two decades.

steph children

On the sunniest day of the year, our foundation “Children for Tomorrow” celebrated its 15th anniversary.

How time flies!

steffi 15 year celebrationWe were just celebrating 15 years (19 June 2013) of Children for Tomorrow at our headquarters in Hamburg. It was a joyous occasion with games, music and good food for the children, supporters and our incredible team. However, the new study by UNHCR of 45 million refugees around the world of which 46% are children under the age of 18, reminds us of the need and importance of our mission and goals.

We continue to be more inspired and motivated to heal the inner wounds of children for many years to come…please know your ongoing support of Children for Tomorrow in the past and in the future is not only appreciated but is crucial to our mission’s success. Photo credit: Johannes Arlt

Many refugee children and supporters joined our team for this special occasion. Everyone enjoyed music, games in the garden, prizes and delicious food. Since opening our doors two years ago, our foundation headquarters has become a stable environment for refugee children to come together as a center of exchange to heal their inner wounds.

The past few months has seen a vast rise in numbers at our facility with the increased violence of the Afghan Syrian war. Many of these refugees come to our clinic after months on the run with harrowing stories of the cruelty they experience during their escape, often worse than the warfare conditions in their home countries.

children-for-tomorrow_ARLT-02-252x380Just this week the UNHCR published a report which directly mirrors our noticeable increase: the number of refugees has reached a 20 year new record high. More than 45 million people in the world are fleeing – equal to more than half of Germany’s population!

The main cause is war with most refugees on the run from war-ridden areas like Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq or Syria. More than 15 million of these people fled to other countries, Germany ranks third after Pakistan and Iran at taking them in. Last year almost 590,000 refugees came to Germany.

Almost 46 percent of the refugees are children and adolescents under the age of 18. António Guterres, UN High Commissioner, said that the fact that children escape on their own is becoming “one of the most difficult humanitarian problems”.

In 2012 more than 21,300 unaccompanied children under 18 applied for asylum, the highest number ever registered.

These numbers remind us strongly of the responsibility of “Children for Tomorrow” and point out our future challenges. Estimations suggest that the numbers will increase in 2013. The UNO assesses the number of refugees from the Syrian war alone to be in the millions.

At our Hamburg location we are one of the few facilities in the country providing translators for refugee children and dedicate ourselves to the new surge of children who will find the best possible psycho-therapeutic treatment to heal their inner wounds with our team.

 

The Foundation

CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1998 by Stefanie Graf with the goal of helping children and families who are victims of war, persecution and violence. The Foundation offers children help in processing traumatic experiences of violence and “psychological rebuilding”.

Since 2011, CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW has had their own headquarters on the grounds of University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, which serves both as outpatient clinic and coordination for all projects worldwide.

stephanie graf charity 33 mil children

Funding is used in cooperation with hospitals in Uganda, Eritrea and Kosovo to provide child psychology on site. In addition to the local project work, CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW provides funds for an outpatient clinic for refugee children at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Mission

According to UNHCR there are currently almost 44 million people on the run worldwide – the majority of refugees come from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. Almost half of all the refugees are children and adolescents. Most have experienced violence or the loss of their parents or relatives and often suffer in consequence from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, insomnia and nightmares.

 

“You cannot compare your athletic achievement to the importance of children and giving them a safe environment in which to grow up and enjoy life.”  –  Steffi Graf

 

CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW uses their financial resources for the healing of these traumas. The Foundation provides psychotherapeutic treatments to the children and also offers psycho-social services in addition to therapies. All Foundation projects are designed to work long term. CHILDREN FOR TOMORROW aims to promote the psychological reconstruction of these children, because the mental health of a child is a fundamental building block for their development and the peaceful coexistence of a society.

Stefanie Maria “Steffi” Graf is a former World No. 1 German tennis player.

Steffi_Graf_300The main weapons in Graf’s game were her powerful inside-out forehand drive, which earned her the moniker Fräulein Forehand; and her intricate footwork. She often positioned herself in her backhand corner, and although this left her forehand wide open and vulnerable to attack, her court speed meant that only the most accurate shots wide to her forehand caused any trouble.

Graf also had a powerful backhand drive but over the course of her career tended to use this less frequently, opting more often for her very effective backhand slice. In baseline rallies, she used the slice almost exclusively. Her accuracy with the slice, both cross-court and down the line, and her ability to skid the ball and keep it low, enabled her to use it as an offensive weapon to set the ball up for her forehand put-aways.

She built her powerful and accurate serve up to 180 km/h (110 mph), making it one of the fastest serves in women’s tennis, and was a capable volleyer.

In total, Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, second among male and female players only to Margaret Court’s 24. Her 22 singles titles mark the record for most Grand Slam wins by a tennis player (male or female) since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968. In 1988, she became the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Calendar Year Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.

Steffi-Graf cupGraf was ranked World No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 total weeks — the longest period for which any player, male or female, has held the number-one ranking since the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals began issuing rankings. She also holds the open era record for finishing as the year-end World No. 1 the most times, having done so on eight occasions. She won 107 singles titles, which ranks her third on the WTA’s all-time list after Martina Navratilova (167 titles) and Chris Evert (157 titles).

A notable feature of Graf’s game was her versatility across all playing surfaces, having won each of the four Grand Slams at least four times, the only player to do so, and she is best known for her great footwork and for her powerful forehand drive. Graf won six French Open singles titles (second to Evert) and seven Wimbledon singles titles (third behind Navratilova and Helen Wills Moody).

She is the only singles player (male or female) to have achieved a Calendar Year Grand Slam while playing on four different types of tennis courts (Rebound Ace, grass, clay and DecoTurf), as the Calendar Year Grand Slams won by other players before her occurred when the Australian and US Opens were still played on grass. Graf reached thirteen consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, from the 1987 French Open through to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them. She won 5 consecutive Grand Slams (1988 Australian Open to 1989 Australian Open), and 7 Grand Slams out of 8, in 2 calendar years (1988 Australian Open to 1989 US Open, except 1989 French Open). She reached a total of 31 Grand Slam singles finals, third overall behind Evert (34 finals) and Navratilova (32 finals).

Graf is regarded by many to be the greatest female tennis player of all time. Billie Jean King said in 1999, “Steffi is definitely the greatest women’s tennis player of all time,” Navratilova herself has included Graf on her list of great players.

In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, named her as the best female player of the 20th century.

In March 2012, Tennis Channel picked Graf as the greatest female tennis player ever in their list of 100 greatest tennis players of all time.

Graf retired in 1999 while she was ranked World No. 3.

Stefanie: “It’s a matter close to my heart to encourage women to become more involved in sports”

The Andre Agassi Foundation is a tireless advocate for empowering and educating youth. Andre built a school/academy and for 15 years has made sure kids have chances that never before would have been available to them. Support and find out more here.

Andre’s Perspective

STEFFI ANDRE'S SCHOOLThe Andre Agassi Foundation for Education is more than a school or a set of beliefs. It is a movement committed to transforming education so that all children have a shot at success.

We see education as the key to opportunity in life. But as U.S. students continue to fall behind other countries – and as Nevada’s students continue to perform at the lowest levels in the country – these opportunities diminish.

We believe we can do better. And we believe we must do better.

Every child deserves an outstanding education, and to provide it, public schools here in Nevada and across the country need better resources and accountability. Our own experience operating a public, K-12 charter school has taught us that to be successful, the two must go hand-in-hand. We also know that when children are placed in an environment where expectations are high and excellence is the standard, they embrace it.

We believe in children. And when you say you believe, you have to act.

Each of us – parents, advocates, educators and legislators – has a responsibility to help children fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams. That is why I have devoted my life to this work.

Please take your time browsing our website. See what we have built, what we are achieving and where we are heading. I hope you will join us on the path to excellence.

“We believe every child has the right to thrive”

She married former World No. 1 men’s tennis player Andre Agassi in October 2001.

steffi andre familyIF GENETICS are everything in sport, Jaden and Jaz Agassi should have been ready to rip a topspin forehand from an early age.

Their parents, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, won an astounding 30 grand slam titles between them, so a path to professional tennis seemed inevitable. But at an age where many prodigies are being groomed by round-the-clock coaching, son Jaden and daughter Jaz hardly play tennis.

“Tennis?

I just think we’ve had enough, quite honestly,” Agassi said bluntly, during an interview last week with the Sunday Herald Sun. READ MORE HERE

The couple have two children – Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle.

A few of the awards that Steffi has achieved over the years:

  • 1986 “Newcomer of the Year” COREL WTA TOUR
  • 1987-90 “Player of the year” COREL WTA TOUR
  • 1993-96 “Player of the year” COREL WTA TOUR
  • 1998 “Most interesting Player of the year” COREL WTA TOUR
  • 1999 “Prince of Asturias Award” one of the most important awards of Spain named after the apparent heir of Spain, Prince Felipe
  • 1999 “German Television Award”
  • 1999 “Athlete of the Century” for the category “female athlete in ballsports”
  • 1999 “Female Athlete of the Year” by German TV broadcaster ARD
  • 1999 “Female Sports Award of the last Decade” by ESPY, Las Vegas
  • 1999 “Olympic Medal of Honor” granted by Dr. Antonio Samaranch, President of the IOC,Lausanne
  • 2002 “Medal of Honor” decorated by the Prime Minister of the German Federal State Baden-Wuertemberg, Mr. Erwin Teufel
  • 2007 “German Media Prize” for authentic social commitment

Graf was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.

social-mediaFIND Stephanie here:

Children For Tomorrow | Contact

Children for Tomorrow – Facebook

Steffi Graf More – IMDbPro »

Steffi Graf – The Biography Channel, UK

Steffi Graf Tribute (SteffiGrafFan) on Twitter

Steffi Graf | Facebook

 

 

 

A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this pure heart into our global Alumni with open arms and look forward to celebrating many more of her achievements, as well as collaborating to better the lives of all women and children on this planet.

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Brava Stephanie! (Steffi)

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