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INTERVIEW WITH YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER TYREL BUTLER

TRINIDAD

August 12, 2021

Age: 22
Favorite sports: Surfing and swimming 100m freestyle
Favorite athlete: Surfer Gabriel Medina
Friends describe him as: Kind, funny and smart

Hailing from Balandra, 22-year-old Business Management student, Tyrel, found his inspiration in the water. As a young boy, he met Waves for Hope co-founder, Chris Dennis, who would take him and other kids surfing and support them when needed. Now, as mentor for the organization, he is empowering young people in his community and supporting their mental, physical and emotional well-being.

With most crimes, drug use and abuse in Trinidad committed by youths aged 15 – 21, and knowing that these same youth will become the leaders of his country, Tyrel was motivated to try and make them better people - to create a better future for all and to be a positive role model for his younger siblings.

1. What does it mean to you to be selected for the inaugural class of the Beyond Sport Youth Advisory Board (BSYAB)?

I feel very honored, lucky and excited to be a part of something so big. Words can’t explain how I really feel.

2. Over the two years, what is the primary thing you are most looking forward to getting out of the experience? What do you want to learn and teach?

I really want to learn more about the way other people use sports for development and the methods they use. I also want to learn about different cultures and how I can be a better mentor/role model for the kids and the people in my community.

I will also do the same and teach the ways I use sports to reach the kids in my community. I will love to share our culture with everyone else.

3. Beyond Sport believes that sport for social change is more than just bringing people together to bond and bridge divides through play, it’s about using it as a platform of learning and development. When used purposefully, and with intention, it can be a powerful pathway to effective solutions to the most complex social issue of our time.

What does using “sport with intention” mean to you?

Sport with intention means having goals with the sport you choose to use to have a positive impact

4. Who do you think is getting it right in the world of social change and why?

My organization, Waves for Change in Trinidad. But they also use sport to help kids in South Africa and they do an amazing job at that.

5. When did you get involved with Waves for Hope and what do you do with them?

I officially got involved with them at the age of 18. I always believe in changing my community and Waves For Hope gave me the platform to do so. I mentor boys, girls and young adults aged between 9 to 25 years old. Our program is about mental health, and we use surfing as the way to get everyone together so we can teach ways to deal with stress at home, school and in the community.

6. What is one thing you believe your participants would say about you as a coach and mentor?

They would say that I'm really playful, but also that I motivate them to do their best in and out of the water.

7. What are your professional goals?

I want to be a business owner of a food joint while continuing to mentor at Waves for Hope - leading the kids to be the best version of themselves.

8. What do you like to do in your free time?

I read books Fiction is my favorite. I also surf a lot. 

9. As you progress in life and your career, what legacy do you hope to leave on your peers, family and community?

I hope to leave a positive legacy that everyone can be proud of. One where they will be proud to know me or be a part of my life.

Meet all eight of the inaugural Beyond Sport Youth Advisory Board members

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