Endurance athlete sets his sights on becoming the first professional triathlete with autism HOKA’s latest edition to its global ambassador line up is Sam Holness, a 27-year-old triathlete from London – identified by the Shaw Trust as one of UKs the top 100 people with a disability. Nicknamed “Super-Sam”, he wants to change the world’s perception of people that are neurodiverse, showing that someone with autism can participate in sport and be a successful endurance athlete, no matter what their background.
Sam sees his autism as both an advantage and a strength when training and competing. He’s incredibly focused and isn’t easily distracted, he also finds that the sport improves his confidence and self-esteem.
Coronavirus caused all of Sam’s planned events to be cancelled this year, however he is currently training for the following triathlon races in 2021 (Marbella 70.3, Hamburg 140.6 and Cork 140.6) with the objective of competing at Kona 140.6 in October later that year. Sam’s main goal is to become the first athlete with autism to complete the Kona 140.6 Triathlon World Championships and to be the first athlete with autism to become a professional triathlete.
As part of Sam’s training, he’s focused on running a sub 3 hours and 20 minutes marathon and swimming 3.8km in 60 minutes, but Sam’s commitment to the sport does not end here. He would like to visit special needs schools to educate them about the benefits of sport for improving their students’ health and wellbeing and encouraging as many people as possible, like him, to participate in triathlons and other endurance sports.
The message that Sam would like to share with the world is…
“Don’t let your disability stop you from participating in sport”
To find out more about Sam’s story , watch this short documentary in partnership with HOKA ONE ONE here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipfQCkkCs3Q