A SCHOOLBOY with an Olympic gold medallist father is volunteering at a Portland mini- festival that aims to build on the excitement of the 2012 Games.

Sam Macdonald-Smith, aged 16, is assisting at the Refresh Minifest, which starts today and runs until Bank Holiday Monday.

Refresh 2012 is the name for the Weymouth and Portland churches campaign to welcome the thousands of people who will be flocking to the borough for the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.

The minifest will be offering three days of fun on the land at the gateway to Portland.

Sam, who lives near Winchester, is staying with a Portland family during his two-week placement with the Rank Foundation.

He has been setting up marquees for the minifest and will be helping with the Messy Church sessions for children.

Sam, who is the son of Flying Dutchman sailor Ian Macdonald-Smith, who claimed gold at the Mexico City 1968 Games, said he hoped to return next year to see the action.

He said: “I’m really excited about the 2012 Games and the sailing events in Weymouth and Portland; on Monday night I went out racing in a boat in Portland Harbour and it was really good fun.

“I follow the Olympics quite strongly, I like sailing but my main sport is rowing.

“I was on the under-16 GB team this year; you have to be pretty full-time dedicated to do rowing so we’ll see what happens.”

Sam said some Portland residents seemed to be ‘wondering if all the upheaval with the road works would be worth it’.

He added: “I’m sure as the Games gets closer people will feel more positive about it.

“I definitely think more teenagers should get involved.

“All the athletes are only about 10 years or so older than my age – in a couple of Olympics’ time it could be us doing it.

“It’s especially good that we’re hosting it now, it’s an inspiration for everyone to get out and do their sport. Britain has really good competitors in every sport so there’s an opportunity for everyone to have a go.”

Refresh Minifest attractions will include refreshments, a barbecue on Sunday at 4pm, arts activities for all ages on Friday and Saturday afternoon, a barn dance on the Friday evening, band night on Saturday, and a Faith and Film evening on Sunday following a Healing service.

A morning kids clubs on Friday, Saturday and Monday, (call 07525 451419), and a five-a-side football competition on Saturday afternoon – email <&bh"mailto:joe@weychurch.co.uk">joe@ weychurch.co.uk<&eh>.

For skateboarders there will be displays and live disco, followed by a competition with prizes on the Saturday afternoon at Portland Skatepark.

Visit <&bh"http://www.weymouthandportlandchurch.org/">weymouthandportland church.org/<&eh>