Southhampton Football Club winger, Nathan Redmond has arrived in Ghana for charity work with Non-Government Organization (NGO) Right To Play.
The Saints ace is an ambassador for the charitable organisation that works in 15 countries and uses sport to help empower and educate children who are affected by poverty, conflict and disease.
Redmond pledged to donate every time he scores or assists a goal and was keen to see the changes the charity is making.
“The day I started as an ambassador for that charity was the start of last season and I only scored one goal and got a couple of assists here and there,” revealed Redmond.
“Every time I score or assist, I manage to donate. If I put it into hindsight, one goal puts 36 children into the program for the year, so it’s education within sport.
“You are learning respect, you are gaining confidence and that helps kids in Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well. This year, I’ve scored a fair few goals and that’s the biggest thing for me because I understand the charity and have worked quite closely with them.
“If there is anything I can do to help, I want to do it. I think that donating thing for me was one of the big things because it does help a lot of people. I always wanted to put some of their stuff on my boots and thankfully, with Ingsy’s company and Adidas, they gave me the go-ahead to go and do it. I am thankful to everybody involved.”
Redmond ended his Saints season on Sunday in spectacular fashion. The 25-year-old netted his side’s opener with an excellent curling effort into the top corner from outside the area.
It was his ninth goal in all competitions for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, which meant he ended the season as the club’s top scorer. And with it costing, on average, £30 per child to put them through one of Right To Play’s year-long programmes, his donation equates to just over £1000 for every goal scored or assisted.
As well as Ghana, the charity also does work in Thailand, Canada, Jordan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories to name just a few. On his visit to Africa, Redmond told the Daily Echo what he would be getting up to on his three-day stay.
He added: “I’ll be doing a couple of workshops and watching a few games that have been organised by the charity.
“I’ll be in the classrooms helping out with educational stuff as well. Just being out there to see how the workshops are set up and what goes on, I’m thoroughly looking forward to it.”
A part of Redmond’s success on the pitch this season has been down to a new mindset off it. The winger often found himself being booed by sections of the St Mary’s crowd for his performances last year.
However, his relationship with the Saints fans has gone from strength to strength over the last nine months. This culminated in him being voted as the club’s Fans’ Player of the Year, as well as winning the Daily Echo’s Player of the Year competition.
Despite this, the former Norwich player insisted it’s important to stay level-headed.
“I think every high point, whether it’s scoring goals or winning games and every low point, I’ve just tried to remain the same and not think too much of myself when things are going good or too low of myself when things are going bad.
“It’s about staying level, whether it’s a win or a loss, I score, or I miss a chance, at the end of the day how I’ve been set up mentally this year has put me in good stead to perform the way I have been doing.
“It’s generally just being around friends and family and understanding that there are bigger things to worry about than football. I kind of reminded myself why I started, which is my family and friends, and to enjoy myself.”
Although Redmond will be the star attraction in Ghana, he made it clear that the trip isn’t about him.
The Saints star continued: “I think a lot of people do it and I have always tried to do some form of charity work since I started playing professionally.
“I just don’t really like all the business being out there because at the end of the day it’s not about me it’s about the people within the charity and the people it can effect. That’s why I have never spoken out massively about it. It’s about these people, not about me.”