Justine Henin acts for sick and disabled children
Justine Henin had to retire from professional tennis in 2011, aged only 28, due to her recurrent elbow injuries. Since then, the former best player in the world has helped hospitalised children through charity. Her motto is ‘making her fame meaningful’. Hence the creation of her own foundation in May 2022. “The aim is to promote adaptive sports for disabled or sick children in Belgium,” she said in La DH Les Sports. The foundation has partnered with Gym and Joy, a programme launched by the Liège hospital to promote sports against childhood cancer. They simply use sports to bring a bit of fun to physically or psychologically impaired children, whose daily life is no bed of roses. To do so, a sports instructor has joined the medical staff to give adaptive sports classes to children from their first day of treatment. “I was affected by sickness when I was very young as I lost my mum to cancer,” says Henin. “It has always made sense to help sick or disabled children. I want to support 750 children by 2025 and bring Gym and Joy to other children’s hospitals in Belgium.” The new big chapter of her foundation consists in building a sports field for the children hospitalised in Liège. She has already spent €165,000 on this project.