Ipswich: Volunteer Matthew gets set for his Olympics role

WITH the Olympic torch’s arrival in the town just days away, one teen volunteer is getting set to play a key role in the summer’s main sporting event.

Matthew Foulger, 17, is going to be a Young Games Maker – an official volunteer for the London 2012 Olympics.

Matthew is part of a team of six young people being supported by disability charity Optua’s Teaming Up project to take part in the Games.

Matthew, who is from the Westbourne area of Ipswich, has mild learning disabilities and first got involved with Optua in 2007.

He has been taking part in its Teaming Up activities since they began in 2010.

He said: “When I found out I’d been selected I wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks!”

Matthew’s mum Cecilia is very proud of her son’s achievements.

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She said: “It’s a great opportunity for Matthew and we’re proud he was picked.

“When Optua asked if he was interested, there was never any hesitation he would want to do it.”

Karl Daniels, Teaming Up co-ordinator at Optua, said: “We thought becoming Young Games Makers would be a great experience for some of the young people who take part in the programme.

“Teaming Up is all about boosting people’s confidence so it fits in well.”

All of the young team were delighted when they were accepted.

Matthew said: “I was overwhelmed when I heard we’d got in and was really excited!

“I phoned lots of relatives and friends to tell them.”

The team was originally told they would be helping at the Olympic football events, but this has now changed to the aquatic centre.

Matthew is thrilled as he prefers swimming and is hoping to meet Michael Phelps.