Aylsham teenager fundraising to play football and study in America
- Credit: Aylsham FC/Jeff Lake
A footballer whose talent on the pitch has helped secure him a scholarship to an American college is raising funds to help him make the move across the pond.
Fletcher Dyson, from Aylsham, has been playing football since he was six.
Now, to further his career and education, the 18-year-old has been offered a football and academic scholarship to study sports management at Lees McRae College in North Carolina.
In order to help pay for the move to America and his studies, the teenager is raising £1,000 by running a marathon, half of which will also be donated to charity.
Mr Dyson, who is currently studying A-levels at Reepham College, said: "I've been playing football ever since I can remember...it's always been my dream to become a professional. It's a hard profession to go into but I think it's every boy's dream."
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He said the idea of going to America for higher education, as opposed to staying in the UK, was first mentioned to him by his football coach at Aylsham.
Mr Dyson said:"[Lees McRae] contacted me first and they wanted to see me play, so I sent them a few clips from some of my games. I would have had to do SATs but because of coronavirus they're exempt this year," he said
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The teenager said his fundraising target of £1,000 would help pay for his studies but, wanting to help a cause close his heart, Mr Dyson plans to donate half of his target to the mental health charity, Mind.
He said: "I plan to run a marathon in April. I've been training since November."
Mr Dyson said while training had been hard he also found running relaxing: "It's good to keep your health and your mental health steady."
He said he chose Mind due to the experience of friends, adding: "I've had a lot of people close to me that have really struggled with [their mental health]. It's something that needs to be addressed a lot more, and I think it's such a huge topic at the moment."
A link to Mr Dyson's fundraising page can be found here.