22 July 2017

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan’s sense of philanthropy very inspiring

Asamoah Gyan delivers his address in the launch of his pitch for Accra Academy

A. Gyan

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has captured the headlines in the last few weeks for his exploits on the field, particularly after scoring a landmark 50th international goal against Ethiopia in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium last month.

Naturally, the national team captain occupies the national discussion, and for a player such as Gyan who has been a key part of Ghana’s football successes in the last decade, his every move – good or bad – attracts media attention.

However, for all his achievement in football, it is the young man’s spirit of philanthropy which makes him stand out among his peers. Despite a few acts of indiscretion which tend to water down many of his great achievements, the striker’s readiness to give back to society is perhaps the most admirable part of his personality.

Last Wednesday, Gyan took his philanthropic works to a another level after former President Jerry John Rawlings, assisted by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, had inaugurated the Asamoah Gyan Sports Complex at Accra Academy.

Many of today’s sports stars, particularly the foreign-based footballers, have been raised with a spirit of philanthropy as they support many charitable causes in Ghana, whether they are at their various overseas bases or are back home on holidays. However, Gyan’s generosity is legendary, after revealing he had spent close to $1 million on many charitable causes.

Among the many charitable ventures initiated by the football icon’s Baby Jet Foundation are a $50,000 Water House pump project inaugurated two years ago at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region, assisting the sick to pay for health care, among others.

Investing $200,000 to construct a fenced artificial football pitch fitted with floodlights and spectator stands for his alma mater is mind-blowing, not only because of the size of the investment but also the vision behind the project which has long-term benefits for Accra Academy and Ghana in general. When completed, the complex will boast a sports hall and Tartan athletics tracks – significant infrastructure to hone sporting talents.

Indeed, Gyan’s sense of nationalism is without compare. Two years ago, he hosted the Black Queens in Brazzaville where he donated $10,000 to the team to motivate them to excel at the All Africa Games. And after the team had won the gold medal, the Black Stars captain made good his promise to the team by rewarding them with $30,000.

It was for these acts of statesmanship and generosity that compelled SWAG to honour him with a Special Award for Philanthropy.

Certainly, Gyan has been blessed with a career that has made him wealthy and famous, but he still recognises that a celebrity personality goes beyond living in the fast lane to include acknowledging his own humble background and having a sense of responsibility towards the less-privileged in society and those who helped him climb the ladder of success.

That is the height sports stars should aspire to by being true role models who are relevant to society, both on and off the field, just the way Gyan is doing it.


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