From Devonport to Rio

Plymouth apprentice to travel to Rio for charity work

2016 will be a summer to remember for Sam Dyer when he represents Plymouth in a charity initiative taking sport to disadvantaged young people in Brazilian slums during the RIO Olympic Games.

Sports and leisure apprentice Sam, who provides sports activities for young people and adults at Hamoaze House in Devonport, will be teaching English and coaching various sports to deprived youngsters in Brazil this August.

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 and Leisure Apprentice with Devon-based Skills Group, will be teaching English and coaching various sports to deprived youngsters living in the favelas.

The Plymouth apprentice 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.”

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.”

Devonport Community Leisure ltd, a community benefit society who are one of the partners behind the Devonport Live projects have supported Sam with a donation of £250 towards his fundraising efforts. Dave Brown, Chairman of DCLL said; “we’re all extremely proud of Sam and proud to be abe to financially support him in his endeavours, he truly is an ambassador for Devonport and we wish him all the best of luck.”

Sam added: “I cannot believe that I am actually going. Before my apprenticeship with Skills Group I didn’t have much self-confidence, but now I am really looking forward to the trip which should be challenging and rewarding. I feel very proud to be representing Plymouth and very lucky to have been given this opportunity.”

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