Meet Sam

2022 Friendship Games Ambassador from Northern Ireland

July 25, 2022

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Sam FG Ambassador 2

I live in West Belfast, and my family’s got four kids and a mum and a dad. And we’re a very competitive family. We’re all into sports in some way but we’re not all into the same sport. And when we do get to do something together, it’s always competitive. Like recently, me and my dad started going to the gym with my brother and it’s always been who can do more and that’s always fun. 

 

Basketball is a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for basketball. I just wouldn’t be into sports. I was always the one who hated football, basically hated most sports, but when I played basketball, I actually found something that I liked to do. And it helps with motivation and discipline to do more.

Q: What's the one thing that you'd want people to know about you?

I’m not as tough as I show myself to be, and I’m a man of my word. If I say I’m going to do something, then I’ll do it.

Q: Who's your hero? Why?

Kobe Bryant, because he always had the mindset of, even if he didn’t want to do it, he’d be determined, and have a good work ethic, do what had to get done.

Q: What do you think are the most important attributes of a leader?

Someone who’s able to make a team better, make them inspired, or uplift our moods, even when they’re not in the mood themselves.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about Friendship Games?

I was going to say meeting new people, but that’s a bit generic, so I’ll say the new experiences, like the water sports. I’m really into water activities, so the water sports are what I’m most looking forward to. And then the basketball.

Q: Will it be your first time on an airplane? In another country? If so, what are you looking forward to about visiting another country? How do you feel about traveling abroad without your family?

No, I’ve been to Florida, Italy and Bulgaria.

Q: Is there anything you're nervous or unsure about going to the Friendship Games?

Yeah, just presenting myself to new people.

Q: Why do you think PeacePlayers wants to bring together 130 young people from around the world?

I don't think our Troubles (30-year long conflict in the 20th century) have been pushed around the world and they’re not widely known as much, and the same with… I don't know much that goes on in the Middle Eastern and Cyprus, so I think this is a good way of helping knowing what's going on in the world with the political side of what's happening in the world, like why PeacePlayers was actually formed, as a group. It’s just good to know what's going on in the world, so you know what people's actually going through.

Q: If you could do anything you wanted when you grew up, what would it be/what's you're biggest dream for the future - for yourself, for your family, for your community?

Play basketball in the States is what I really want to happen. College is the main goal, but professionally would be nice after that.

Q: What's it like in your city/town/neighborhood? How would you describe it to someone who's never been there?

I would say that people’s mostly nice. In the city center of Belfast there are a lot of people that you can just go up and talk to. And when you walk down the street, there’s someone you might never have seen before and they’re just friendly, “Hi, how are you?” and “you’re welcome.” But if you look back at the Troubles, it wasn’t always this way. You wouldn’t have thought that you could just walk around and talk to people. How far we’ve come that you can just, like I can feel as safe walking past the Peace Walls and walking through that area, as worried as what my parents would have been worried before.

Q: If you could time travel for one hour, where would you go? What would you do?

I’d go back to stop Kobe from getting on the helicopter.

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