Norwich City player Harry Toffolo rejects FIFA and Football Manager to take up charity work
PUBLISHED: 12:50 02 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:48 02 January 2015
When professional footballers finish their morning training session, people may expect them to play as themselves on a computer game such as FIFA or to sit back and watch television.
But this is definitely not the case for Norwich City player Harry Toffolo, who is currently on loan at League One club Swindon Town.
The teenager is keen to repay the community by giving something back to the people that have welcomed him to the town. Toffolo, who has been at the club since October, is aiming to complete some volunteer work for charities close to his heart after losing his Italian grandfather to dementia. The 19-year old is eager to use his experience to lend a helping hand to other people who need it most; a idea that was instilled in him from an early age.
Tweeting from his personal account @Harry_Toffolo; the wing-back sent out a request for charities to contact him.
“If anyone has any charity work in Swindon I am willing to do my bit! Let me know.”, he posted.
The post received over 50 retweets with many people commenting on how he could help their charities or assist with different initiatives in the area.
Speaking to Flic Wiltshire, Toffolo said: “The amount of support you get as an athlete, or in any sport – those people come and they care - and if it means going off to spend half-an-hour of my day to make someone else happy I don’t mind doing that.
“We finish here at half past one; I’d rather do that than win a season on FIFA or Football Manager. You’ve got to go out and give back to people who give to you.
“Anything where I can influence another individual or make them happier or change their life in any way; I’ll do as much as I can for them”.
Toffolo was a key player in Norwich’s successful FA Youth Cup winning side under the management of Neil Adams. He is also an England under 19 international and is keen to portray a positive image for professional players.
“If it means me staying for a few hours to speak to 20 different children at a hospital or something like that, I’m very keen to do that just to give back to them. It’s the least they deserve, really.
“Footballers are renowned for having a bad press but I believe there are so many footballers out there who are genuine. They want to do well and give their overview to other people and give them the best opportunity in life as well.”
Sonia Marshall, Communications Officer at Voluntary Norfolk, is encouraged that a Toffolo is lending a hand.
“It’s great when anyone wants to volunteer in their community but when it’s someone in the public eye such as Harry, the impact is even more significant. A professional footballer is a role model to their fans and they are in a position to gain greater publicity for the causes they support.”
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