Spending time with Sam Effah and Amonn Nelson reminded me of a couple of things, first of all that reaching goals takes a lot of hard work and secondly it inspired me to go for a really hard run in my workout that day!
They shared with me that taking the first steps towards their goals whether it was trying Track & Field for the first time or pushing towards the Olympics was one of the hardest parts. Both of them needed others around them to inspire them. For Amonn it was her Mom and her coach. For Sam his parents and his coaches also made a huge impact. These were the people who knew them and told them they believed in them. It reminded me that often we forget to tell others what we see that is good in them. Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyday someone told you what they thought you rocked at?
By having the support of people that knew them and believed in them from the start both Sam and Amonn have been able to pursue a very difficult dream. But, they’ve also achieved something greater. They have been involved in their community and shown great leadership. Sam is now a Right to Play Athlete Amassador which has allowed him to use sport as a way to help teach things like sanitation, HIV prevention and leadership through games in developing countries. Both of them have volunteered in local schools as well helping to inspire a future generation to take a chance and pursue their dreams. When Sam visited Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy, where I teach, my track team was impacted greatly. One athlete even said that seeing him work towards his goals and hearing his story had inspired her to pursue athletics as a career!
Sam had an unfortunate injury leading up to 2013 but is now aiming for 2016 Olympics. Most recently at the Edmonton International Track Classic he won with a time of 10.09 seconds for the 100 m. This will qualify him for the World Championships in Moscow Russia in August. Both him and Amonn will be attending the World Championships. We can make a difference by cheering them on at local events, posting comments of encouragement here for them to read or by supporting them financially. To cheer them on across the ocean you can find the results at the following two sites: Athletics Canada or World Championship Results. Best of luck Sam and Amonn we will be cheering for you!