Sports volunteer Dan, 13, is off to Olympic games.

Dan Gaines is off to see the Olympics for his work helping children into sports at Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury.
Dan Gaines is off to see the Olympics for his work helping children into sports at Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury.

THERE aren’t many teenage boys who have made such an impact on young people’s lives that they are rewarded with Olympics tickets.

But that’s exactly what 13-year-old Dan Gaines has done.

Dan has given up his Saturdays for the last six months to volunteer at the adventure playground in Dewsbury’s Crow Nest Park and helped introduce smaller children to different sports.

And on Wednesday he is off to the Olympic Park in London to see the women’s basketball.

A keen sportsman himself, Dan spent 18 months training with Barnsley Football Academy.

“I used to go to the playground when I was younger, and when I got to 13 years old I asked if I could stay on to help,” he said.

“I really enjoy it, and I think the children there enjoy it too.”

Because of his commitment, Dan was put on a Young Leaders’ training course.

Dan, a pupil at St John Fisher Catholic High School in Dewsbury, was nominated to go to the Olympics by the team who run the adventure playground. Kirklees Council youth services officer Sarah Goldsmith said: “Dan is just a really positive young man, and a shining example of the youth of today.

“He is really committed to sport, and we wanted to thank him for all the effort he puts in at the playground. This is an amazing chance for him.”