2007 : Rafael Nadal in India

Jun 2, 2023, 10:33:54 AM

Rafa Nadal has launched his own academy in India

The Anantapur district in India is famous for three things –Lepakshi Nandi, a 20 -ft- high 500 -year- old granite statue depicting a bull; the huge Kia Motors factory, which cost a billion euros to the fifth biggest car manufacturer in the world, and which produces 300,000 cars every year; and Rafael Nadal’s tennis academy, which was opened in 2010. The Rafa Nadal Tennis School is for the dropouts of this region, which is one the poorest areas in India. It teaches sports, mathematics, English, and IT, but also gives health care and nutrition support to 150 pupils every year. These are just a few examples of the humanitarian aid provided by Nadal’s foundation. It was created in 2007 in collaboration with Vicente Ferrer’s NGO, which has helped poor and disabled kids aged under 25 for 40 years.

But why? “We have always tried to help and give back to society the chance we had to be so privileged,” said Nadal for his foundation’s 10th anniversary. “I had my mom’s example at home; she used to help all sorts of organisations.” Also involved in the creation of the Special Olympics –a competition for athletes with intellectual and physical disabilities– Nadal is one of the figureheads of inclusive sport, which is a tool for personal development, integration, and independence. Rafa Nadal is still very connected with his home island Mallorca, where he opened the Rafa Nadal Academy –26 courts on a 12-acre facility; he even opened the doors of the students’ rooms to the people who lost their houses in the 2018 floods. One last thing: Nadal does not only share the Grand Slam title record with Djokovic; he also set the record of the most attended tennis match in history with his friend Roger Federer when they faced each other in an exhibition match in front of 51,954 people in Cape Town (South Africa) in 2020. Earlier that afternoon, they had played tennis with children in the Hout Bay township, near Cape Town. But in the end, no matter the number of people you help, what matters the most is the action. Vamos!