A Plymouth apprentice has been selected to travel to Brazil during the Olympic Games to work with deprived youngsters living in Rio’s favela slums.
Sam Dyer is one of 13 volunteers picked from across the country for the three-week project run by StreetGames, a national sports charity helping disadvantaged communities.
Sam, a Level 3 Sport & Leisure Apprentice with Devon-based Skills Group, will be teaching English and coaching various sports to deprived youngsters living in the favelas.
Sam was specially selected due to his work providing sporting activities for young people and adults at Hamoaze House in Plymouth. He also supports the Hamoaze House youth club and in 2014 took seven youngsters, who had never left Plymouth, camping to Glasgow to watch the Commonwealth Games.
The 24-year-old from Devonport, Plymouth, said: “I feel hugely grateful to have this opportunity and have very mixed emotions. While I’m very excited about what lies ahead at the same time I’m nervous, but it will be a great experience.
“I’ll be visiting the deprived areas in Rio and helping young people who are exposed to drugs, crime and violence. We are aiming to give them something positive in their lives like this fantastic sporting event, which will be held in the heart of the city. It will be amazing to see the difference in culture and share experiences with people in a different part of the world.”
Sam was nominated to go to Brazil by Plymouth City Council’s Sports Unit after being crowned Active Devon Young Sports Coach of the Year in 2014 for his work at Hamoaze House.
Sam added: “I really feel that my apprenticeship has given me the confidence to do something like this. When I first went to Hamoaze House I would hardly speak to anyone but now I am much more confident, enthusiastic, determined and motivated – all thanks to my apprenticeship training.”
Barry Mountstevens from Plymouth City Council’s Sports Development Unit nominated Sam for the StreetGames volunteer project.
He said “Sam’s enthusiasm for sport and his passion for changing young people’s lives is fantastic to see, and is why Plymouth City Council nominated him to go with StreetGames to Rio during the Olympics.
“StreetGames have only selected 13 people nationally to take to Brazil, and Sam is one of those lucky 13. This is great for him and also fantastic news for Plymouth.
“He will help StreetGames create a lasting legacy in Rio by providing sports equipment coaching, resources and teaching children how to speak English. Sam will gain a lot from this experience and it’ll open his eyes to different cultural lifestyles.”
Mark Boulting, managing director of Skills Group, said: “It is fantastic to see how Sam’s apprenticeship scheme has given him the skills to go on and do something as worthwhile and memorable as this.
“We really do wish him every success with this great opportunity, and will be supporting him further by making a donation to his JustGiving page.”
Sam needs to raise £2,000 for the project, which runs from August 17 to September 7, and has set up a JustGiving page to help raise funds. If you would like to support Sam, log on to www.justgiving.com/Sam-Dyer1/
Pictured: Sam Dyer in the Skills Group gym at Drakes Court, Langage, Plympton.