World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, of Spain, has come forward once again to help support a fund-raising effort, this time for a refugee camp in Greece.
Rafael Nadal helps raise funds for a refugee camp in Greece
The Spaniard Rafael Nadal is helping tennis coach Wesley O’Brien raise funds for a refugee camp in Greece, according to the Clare Champion website.
O’Brien is a coach at the Killaloe Ballina Tennis Club in Ireland and a regular volunteer at the Ritsona Refugee Camp, which is located north of Athens. He plans to raise funds for a defibrillator for the camp, which is now home to 4000 people.
As part of his effort, Wesley has secured jerseys from top athletes across the world. Besides Nadal, others who are supporting his project include Nadal, the Munster Rugby Team, athlete Usain Bolt, golfer Rory McIlroy and footballer Franz Beckenbaur.
O’Brien says a conversation with a friend about his project led to him getting Nadal's jersey as his friend had connections at the Spanish Tennis Federation. "I had raised funds for a defibrillator for the Killaloe-Ballina Tennis Club, so I decided to do the same again for Ritsona after I returned in January.
I mentioned what I was doing (to a friend) and next thing, I got an email from the Rafa Nadal Foundation. I gave them more information about what I was doing and they sent on the signed jersey. Thanks to the support of these sports stars, I’m going to be able to raise a lot more money than I anticipated.
It will mean a lot because conditions at Ritsona are very tough for those living there”. Wesley continues that he is also being supported by Tennis Ireland in his efforts. "Tennis Ireland has sent an email to all its members clubs and there is sure to be a lot of interest because these are amazingly special items.
It’s the most amazing and rewarding thing you can do. It has changed me as a person. I would encourage anyone who coaches, whether it’s basketball or volleyball or whatever, to get some equipment and go”. Rafael Nadal is a 19-time Grand Slam champion.
He is currently ranked No. 2 in the world. Nadal has also made donations through his own foundation to help those affected by the global health crisis.