Martin Jarvis, an Evertonian serving in the Royal Air Force, has been helping spread the word in Borneo in a typically Everton way.
The helicopter pilot is currently embedded in the Royal Brunei Airforce and has been spending his spare time out of the cockpit by volunteering for Learning Ladders Society, a non-profit organisation set up in Brunei for autistic children.
Martin will also be working with two orphanages on the island as well as the Society for the Management of Autism Related Issues in Training Education and Resources (SMARTER). The altruistic 36 year-old contacted Everton in the Community to ask the pioneering sporting charity for support and they obliged by sending over kids football kits, training wear and football equipment for Martin to disseminate across charitable programmes in Borneo.
The largest island in Asia is politically divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south with 30 percent of the Brunei population suffering from obesity and 12 percent from diabetes. Martin’s coaching not only helps young people with autism but is also helping to give children an opportunity to become physically active, gain confidence and build self-esteem through football in a safe environment.
“During my time on the Falkland Islands I have done many of these types of sessions and I am fairly new to Borneo but being able to hand out the Everton kits and training wear that Everton in the Community provided at the start of the session made the whole thing even more special for the young people taking part.
“The charity worker was kind enough to say afterwards that one of the children who normally refused to take part in any games because he’s scared of being in a huge setting was so happy he didn’t want the training to end and he says he now supports Everton”, said Martin.
Martin, whose last game at Goodison Park was Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial before flying out to be stationed in Brunei on a three-year engagement, was previously a Search and Rescue helicopter pilot and served alongside HRH The Duke of Cambridge on the Sea King with 22 Squadron at RAF Valley.
“I have been an Everton supporter all my life. My four brothers are all Evertonians with two of them having Season Tickets and it’s all thanks to my Dad, Steve, whose name is immortalised as one of the Goodison Granites by the Dixie Dean statue. It has been humbling to bring a taste of what Everton is all about to the people of Borneo. I’m very proud of what Everton in the Community do. My request for support was about the opportunity to emulate the ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ experience in my Borneo community. I can’t thank Everton in the Community enough for supporting a Blue spread the Everton word.”