A young volunteer who helps to run sports activities for young people and adults in Devonport has been selected to travel to Brazil during the Olympic Games to work with deprived youngsters living in Rio’s favela slums.
Project Rio is being organised by StreetGames, a national sports charity helping disadvantaged communities, with the aim of creating a lasting cultural legacy and experience both in Brazil and the UK.
Sam Dyer has been working on the local StreetGames programme at Hamoaze House for around three years, inspiring hundreds of people to get into sport and lead healthier lifestyles.
The 24-year-old was nominated for Project Rio by our Sports Development Unit, which oversees the delivery of StreetGames in Plymouth.
Sports Development Co-ordinator Barry Mountstevens said: “We nominated Sam not just for his sporting credentials but because of his understanding and sympathetic nature towards others who are less fortunate.
“Working at Hamoaze House, he has come into contact with many people with alcohol and substance abuse problems and understands the challenges people may face in life, which will help him when working with families in Rio’s favelas.
“Sam’s passion for changing young people’s lives is fantastic to see. He won Young Coach of the Year in the 2014 Devon Sports Awards and has continued to gain coaching qualifications and broaden his knowledge ever since.
“He is also a mentor and role model for a young apprentice at Hamoaze House, who is inspired to push himself and make the most of any opportunities offered to him.”
Sam is one of just 13 volunteers from across the country chosen to take part in Project Rio and will be teaching English and coaching sports to deprived youngsters living in the favelas.
Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we are really pleased that Sam has been chosen to take part. He has given so much to his local community and works incredibly hard to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds, people with disabilities and people who are trying to overcome personal problems. He is a real ambassador for Plymouth and we know he will give even more than he gains from his trip in August.”
Sam needs to raise £2,000 for the trip in August – see his JustGiving page to make a donation.