Charity work is something we don't hear about too often, but it is something in which (most? all?) top flight clubs actively engage. Yes, even super-duper-evil Liverpool and Manchester United do their part, I'm sure. Part of it is giving back to the community (think Chelsea's hospital visits, especially around Christmas-time, or charity matches by the Chelsea Old Boys) and part of it is using the club's position as a global force to, well, simply "do good" (think the football schools established in Southeastern Asia or New York City).
Right to Play is Chelsea's global charity partner. Their name is emblazoned on the back of Chelsea's Champions League jerseys, raising awareness as we travel the continent in search of footballing glories. The organization's mission is "to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities." It's a great cause and Chelsea's involvement is a simple, yet powerful gesture on the club's part.
In addition to the shirts, Chelsea also support the organization by involving our players, coaches, and staff to raise awareness of the various Right to Play initiatives. Through recent media appearances, Willian and Cesar Azpilicueta are just two of the latest to do so.
Willian spoke with the Daily Mail's Matt Lawton in support of Right to Play's Play for Change scheme, which helps schools run fundraisers for the organization's overall mission. Chelsea provide the incentives in the form prizes such as footballs, or a signed shirt, or even a coaching session and Chelsea FC experience (and as we saw with Oran Tully, a Chelsea experience can truly be something special).
Cesar Azpilicueta, in turn, spoke with the Independent's Miguel Delaney in support of Right to Play's Kick Off 5k charity run coming up in May in Battersea Park. Chelsea once again provide the incentives with whatever the "fun football activities" may be.
As a bonus, we often find out some fun details about the players through just such media appearances. For example, Willian reveals that he was a terrible student who got his mother to often do his homework for him and that he probably would've been a little drummer-boy if the football hadn't panned out. Meanwhile, Dave the (Gym)rat reveals that it was his ACL injury in 2010 (or, to be more specific, the recovery from which) that made him the hard trainer that he is today.
So, while you wait around for the football to start on Sunday, take a moment to read both interviews and appreciate the nice things that the Chelsea Foundation do.