GREEN SCHOOL BALI WELCOMES VISIT BY NOVAK DJOKOVIC
A little more than a decade ago, as John Hardy narrates, Cynthia Hardy took him to the movies. They watched An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary about the environment featuring former US presidential candidate Al Gore. The documentary had a lasting impact on both of them, and made them realize that things couldn’t go on like this. The planet had suffered enough. What followed were discussions on taking action, and that’s exactly what they did when they founded the Green School in 2008. It was their way of not only creating a better tomorrow for future generations, but also giving back to the local community and the place they called home, Bali. Since then, the movement has grown and found supporters from all over the world. One such supporter visited the school in December, 2019
Novak Djokovic, the number 1 ranked tennis player in the world, recently visited Bali not just for its beautiful beaches and rice terraces, but also to visit the Green School. Novak and his wife Jelena run the Novak Djokovic Foundation, an organization that invests in early childhood education in their home country. They came to Bali to visit Green School Bali and see progressive schooling at its best, where love towards nature and Earth are the heart of entrepreneurial goals and living.
“We always wanted to go to Bali, so we used the opportunity in the off-season to visit the school. I was very fortunate to be in the presence of these wonderful, empathic children Green School Bali and share with them my life story and Novak Djokovic Foundation’s journey of giving back to our Serbian community that my wife and I have experienced for the past decade. We might have our children actually attend that concept in the near future,” Djokovic said of his visit to the Green School.
What attracted Djokovic and his wife to the Green School was its mission of nurturing green leaders – not for the future, but now – and Green School’s focus on sustainability. It’s this purpose-led and nature-based learning that stuck with Djokovic.
“Seeing kids going barefoot, playing sports, spending a lot of time outdoors, this kind of interactive play combined with learning is something more special than I have seen in education systems. It was a very interesting and positive experience,” he remembers.
The couple went on a tour of the school, exploring the wall-less learning spaces, the entrepreneurial projects that students were leading and the sustainability lens of both campus as well as learning programs. Novak also addressed a special Middle School assembly and gave students an insight into what it takes to be a world-class athlete, the importance of mental grit and determination, and how he stays grateful for all that he has achieved. While addressing students, he deeply appreciated all that he saw:
“You have a fantastic community, and you have freedom. I have heard about all the amazing projects you guys do and that’s something that impressed us the most.”
Jelena Djokovic had similar feelings about her visit,
“We came to Bali to visit Green School Bali and see progressive schooling at its best – the one where love towards nature and Earth are the heart of entrepreneurial goals and living. No walls, out of the box thinking, lots of projects and time outdoors… Leaving [Bali] inspired and motivated to bring change to education!”.
Green School warmly welcomes Novak and Jelena Djokovic to our movement, to build a global community of learners making our world sustainable.