England footballer Raheem Sterling is to launch a foundation focused on improving social mobility for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The 25-year-old Manchester City star is still working on the details of the foundation, which will provide university scholarships and work placements. The Sunday Times reported that his contribution was likely to be seven figures and he has asked his club and his main sponsors to match his financial commitment.
“I'm not really fussed about having this million and that million,” he said. “What will make me happy is seeing I am able to help.
“Even if it's five people, even if it's one, at least I have helped someone come out of their bubble and experienced that there is something better to England.”
Sterling recently spoke out about the issue of online abuse, and questioned the will of social media companies to tackle the number of hateful messages footballers received.
Speaking to the Sunday Times magazine, Sterling said: “That's me finished with the 'what can happen, what should happen'. Now I'm trying to put into place stuff I can do myself.
“Stuff to give young people in the same circumstances I was in another shot. If there is a university they want to go to, football equipment they need, other things. I want to be a helping hand.”
He added: “It comes down to, okay, I come from north-west London, I move out of my area - what good is it if I take all I have made in life, my success and just build a big house somewhere? I'm happy, cool, but that's not who I am.”
Meanwhile Juan Mata has encouraged more footballers to follow the lead of his Manchester United team-mate, Marcus Rashford, and use their status to make a difference in their communities.
The Manchester United midfielder was speaking to Sky Sports Pitch to Post Preview podcast and spoke of his pride for what Rashford is doing away from the pitch.
Rashford has been making headlines away from football by campaigning for free school meals for children over the holidays.
Mata said: “It's important for every player to realise the platform that we have, the message that we can get across and the amount of people that we can help.”
Pic credit: Sporting Equals.