Sam works as a Masseur and specialises in working with elite athletes. One of those athletes was an Australian Olympic rower and after discussing the sport with that rower Sam was motivated to try rowing himself. Given his visual impairment he knew he would qualify and the one thing Sam has maintained throughout his life is a level of fitness already pushing at what one would expect in terms of fitness if that person was at the elite level of their sport.
He joined our program in 2017 and travelled with us to Grafton for our September week on the Clarence River. Each day saw him on the water for three sessions honing his skill in both a single scull as well as rowing crew boats. Sam classifies in the PR3 category [ the old LTA category] and is certainly making his mark against other squad rowers with his technique, speed and enormous power and agility.
In Sam’s own words
“I am vision impaired. I have a progressive disease in my retina called Cone Rod Dystrophy http://www.retinaaustralia.com.au/ . I first heard about rowing while treating a patient of mine with a remedial massage, following an injury sustained while rowing. I always wanted to get involved in a sport that was competitive but my lack of vision had stopped me from doing so. I thought rowing could be my sport.
I find rowing mentally fulfilling.
I go into my own zone while I am rowing.
I want to race. My goal is to compete in the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020.”
We want Sam to be ready to race before we send him out in a single scull; he’s had a first race in the double but the single will wait till we believe he’s ready. After all, this is 2018….Tokyo is 2020. We have the time, he has the energy, power and dedication.
Watch out, Sam is coming.