Flying The Flag

EXCLUSIVE FEATURE by Derek J. Gaffney

Young Ambassador

With the current economic problems affecting the north-east of England more than most and what with our sports teams not exactly performing to the levels their passionate fans truly deserve, we could do with a ray of light or two.

Well, I have one shining example we need to be well and truly proud of. I present a case for the defence; Sophie Brown, aged 16, from South Durham.

I know what you maybe thinking; who is she? Well let me tell you exactly who this charming young lady is…

I had the opportunity to catch up with Sophie (pictured above) recently to discuss many things including her love of the Newcastle Falcons,  also her dreams to become a successful sportswomen and Jonny Wilkinson.

Ultimately, we spoke of her new role as a Youth Ambassador for the Wear Valley and Teasdale District (WVTD) for the London 2012 Olympic games. A role she spoke passionately about ” at the moment I am concentrating on representing my district, but in the very near future I would like to be seen as the main young ambassador for the region.”

Ambition is something this young lady offers in abundance.

The role Sophie will fulfill is still in its infancy, though she has begun visiting schools and working on projects within WVTD, “becoming a young ambassador has changed my life for the better, it has given me a sense of direction.”

Seriously, she is a very busy person indeed, balancing her final year at secondary school, two weekend jobs and unsurprisingly she is involved in volunteer work, I asked her how she fits this all in, she replied instantly, “this is a really good question, because at the moment I am finding this very hard, I think the balance will come within time.”

Maturity beyond her youthful years I’m sure you’ll agree?

I must admit by this stage I had grown from instantly liking Sophie (pictured below) to admiring everything about her, would this continue? You better believe so.

We talked openly about her admiration of Jonny Wilkinson, “he’s my sporting idol, he is probably the reason I have become so interested in sport.” Then her love of Rugby shone through, “I am more of a rugby fan, so I am huge Newcastle Falcons Fan. I also support Newcastle United, which I am kinda ashamed to say.”

As a Middlesbrough fan, I could forgive the latter part of this reply as we all have our downsides and this was Sophie’s only negative aspect.

Sophie faces a demanding time ahead as she looks to promote her role, the games itself and the demands of her two jobs, her volunteering work oh and let us not forget the pressurised time of sitting her GCSE’s at school.

I certainly wish her luck in this but surely she’ll fly through with flying colours.

Sophie wants to work for a major sporting organisation in the future and with everything she has undertaken this is easily achievable should she stick on the track she has chosen.

We need to be proud of the people we have in the north-east and Sophie is a shining example to the youth of today, though her peers could learn a lot from her in a very short space of time.

I couldn’t resist to ask cheekily for some tickets for the Olympic games as this may be my only opportunity, Sophie replied with a smile and quipped “Haha, maybe I’m not sure if I will be getting any tickets yet!!”

Oh well, worth a try…

Keep flying the flag Sophie and I look forward to watching you develop in the coming months and years.

It really was a pleasure to interview Sophie and easy to see why she was chosen for this role.

Gaffers

You can follow Sophie @ http://www.twitter.com/YA2012 for all the latest on her quest of representing the district through to London 2012.

Sophie kindly asked me to acknowledge www.myspace.com/mikebladenofficial who has supported her in this new role and asks you to check out his music.

I couldn’t say no, could I?

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