Saman Jafar, currently doing his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, will be taking the Olympic torch through Westminster this afternoon (Thursday 26 July) as it makes its way to its final destination in Stratford, marking the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
19-year-old Sam found himself homeless in London as a teenager but has undergone an incredible personal journey to become a role model and coach for other young people in Westminster. He is close to completing his Gold DofE programme, something that has been a pivotal part of his success.
“I’m really excited to be carrying the Olympic flame on the eve of the London games,” Saman says. “This is the culmination of a long personal journey for me over the last few years. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has really helped change the course of my future and given me the chance to reach my potential, something I thought I might never do. I’m so proud of this city and delighted to be part of the Olympics. Now we all need to show the world what we are capable of. Come on London!!”
As a teenager growing up in London Sam fell in with the wrong crowd. He spent some time away from the city and when he returned he had nowhere to live. After being allocated accommodation by Westminster City Council he wanted to give something back to his community, get involved with a local club and make the most of his spare time.
Sam has been volunteering at Kyu-Yo-Bu-Shin football club for the past year. He coaches young people aged 8 - 17, and has been reliable and trustworthy since he first began volunteering. He has a lot of positive energy to pass onto younger players and he's a great role model because of his willingness to give something back to the local community, his dedication and his ability to coach a wide age range.
Sam is full of enthusiasm about the opportunities he has been given and he has passed his FA Level 2 coaching award and nearly completed his Gold Duke Edinburgh’s Award. He is now studying engineering and planning a fundraising campaign for a Raleigh International expedition to Costa Rica.
Hear from Sam here.