Cabal Launches Campaign To Aid Colombian Families Hit By COVID-19

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

In an unprecedented week in which the Big Three of tennis, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, have stepped up to provide aid and support to their native countries during the coronavirus crisis, a different voice from another part of the world is reaching out with an initiative.

Juan Sebastian Cabal, who is reigning Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion with his partner Robert Farah, has teamed with his brother to start a campaign through social media to raise funds for buying food in local markets to help the most vulnerable citizens in his hometown of Cali, Colombia. His hope through his initiative is to enable everyone to stay home and protect themselves against COVID-19.

“While our doctors, nurses, security, supermarket and pharmacy staff are fighting for us, we cannot stand by and watch,” Cabal recently posted on his Instagram page. “In our city, 70 percent of the populations relies on the informal economy and we know that part of the success in the fight against Covid-19 is social isolation. 

“In order to guarantee that our people who work in this way can comply, we must guarantee food for them and their families during the days of quarantine.

“We invite you to support us and contribute to this cause. With the help of community leaders, we are identifying the city’s vulnerable families.”

According the ATP Tour website, Cabal is both promoting and coordinating his initiative from his home. Farah has also promoted Cabal’s campaign via his own social media pages.

Working out with Venus Williams

With much of the world confined to their homes during the novel coronavirus pandemic, many are looking for alternate ways to workout and maintain a sense of normalcy in lieu of being able to go to their local gyms or fitness centers. Now, it seems, home workouts are everywhere online and it’s helping with everyone’s mental and physical health and staying connected.

As noted in Friday’s New York Times, future tennis Hall of Famer Venus Williams, whose career highlights include seven Grand Slam (five Wimbledon and two US Open) and 49 career WTA titles, has begun broadcasting a daily live short workout from her home in Jupiter, Fla., via her Instagram page. She performs squats and curls and encourages those who tune in to join her. No worry if you don’t have free weights. Venus has you covered. She’s been substituting water jugs and even Champagne bottles as weights.

#CoachVenus workouts take place daily at Noon Eastern Daylight Time (4 p.m. GMT).

What they’re saying

Christopher Clarey, New York Times tennis correspondent, “So much uncertainty about the 2020 tennis season but what is clear is that if play does resume this year, both the ATP and WTA intend to play until nearly the end of December: using their previously scheduled offseason to try to get as many tournaments played as possible.”

What they’re podcasting

David Law, co-host, The Tennis Podcast

Rennae Stubbs, co-host, The Racquet Magazine Podcast

What they’re tweeting

Brad Gilbert, former player and coach turned ESPN analyst

Elise Mertens, Belgium, currently ranked No. 23

Naomi Osaka, Japan, currently ranked No. 10

Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland, currently ranked No. 17