Exciting Times!

Posted By: MatthewScamuffo
Posted On: September 7th, 2018



Wow, the past two weeks have been incredible! On Saturday August 24th, I moved to Ireland for the year to become a new member of the Sport Changes Life family. Myself and the other Victory Scholars took a flight across the Atlantic after our launch event at Marist College. We landed in Dublin at 5:00am and did our best to stay awake all day to fight the jet lag. We then bused up to Ulster University in Belfast where we all stayed for the week for training. Once we got to Belfast we were introduced to the rest of the SCL family. In the short time that we all had together, us Victory Scholars became very close. It was amazing learning about everyone and just spending time with one another.

During the week we had a lot of events to attend; we went to a fundraiser, went into the city of Belfast, went to Giant’s Causeway, held eHoops sessions, visited youth centers, schools, and community centers. We learned in depth about the past struggles specifically surrounding Belfast and some of the religious tensions that remain in the community. One of our roles as Victory Scholars is to mentor youth and help them through the adversity they face. We do this by participating in different community outreach programs like eHoops. eHoops is an community project where young people going through educational, economic and social deprivation come together through a sport, education and an individual personal development program. During training we were fortunate enough to experience two different eHoops sessions.

During our eHoops sessions we played soccer, football and of course basketball. We also had the chance to sit down with the eHoopers to learn about them and share a little bit about us. We talked about the adversity we’ve faced and how we overcame it. It was a great experience learning about these young people and helping them through the daily struggles they face.

One of the main reasons I applied to this program was to inspire and make a difference in people’s lives. Throughout my life I have faced adversity and always had sport to help guide me through the tough times. It is a great feeling participating in a program that helps young people overcome their troubles through sport. I cannot wait to continue with these community outreach programs and help make a difference! Currently, I am getting settled in at my new home at LIT. Everyone in Limerick has been so nice and helpful, I really feel welcomed here. I cannot wait to see what’s next during this journey!