After surviving his birth in Sierra Leone, a country that continues to have one of the highest neo-natal and infant mortality rates in the world, Sam went on to be the first boy in his family to celebrate his second birthday, unlike his three brothers born before him.
At age six, Sam was adopted from his biological parents to a new home where he faced constant punishment from his adopted family.
Born to parents who had eleven children, Sam’s childhood was disrupted, when he was only 9 years old, by a civil war that engulfed his entire nation. It lasted eleven years, taking the lives of over one hundred and twenty thousand innocent people, including some of Sam’s own family members and friends.
By the age of thirteen, Sam found himself competing in a strange sport (Tennis) that he once thought was only played by rich, white people. His dream was to win the biggest prize of qualifying for the Sierra Leone Junior (under 18) National Team and use the two hundred and fifty dollars allowance money to feed his family and pay his school fees. This dream was shattered time after time.
Approaching the age of seventeen, time was running out for Sam to qualify in the Sierra Leone Junior National Team. His country was taking the full hit of the bloody civil war but he found himself in a position to grasp one more chance to turn his dream into reality and he was more determined than ever to take that chance.
Whilst bearing the loss of loved ones and close friends in a civil war that he did not understand, Sam battled hunger and starvation in a country where many of the younger generation were forced to become child soldiers or suffer a painful death along with so many of Sam’s countrymen and women and yet – he survived.
In this fascinating, true story, ’How Tennis Saved My Life’, Sam gives a mind-blowing account of his experiences during the war, of his family’s and friends’ harsh existence and how they survived what life and man threw at them. Sam takes us on a gripping journey from his birth to manhood, through experiences ranging from extreme despair to heart-warming triumph. Indeed, Sam has resiliently zig-zagged his way through a life of countless catastrophes and some opportune blessings, and he has lived to tell his story.
This inspirational read has something to offer everyone and is a real eye-opener for those fortunate enough not to have encountered these sorts of adversities in their lives. It is often the case that we only truly value life upon having faced a close call – then boom – many of the things we took for granted become the most important, precious things in our lives.
In his own words, Sam shares his dogged determination and will to endure pain, to plough through dangers and to fight to stay alive, in order to see one more sunrise, one more day and to smile one more time at his beloved Mum.
Today, Sam enjoys his career as an International Tennis Coach touring with players from all over the planet. As a physical, nutritional and mental coach, he plumbs his own experiences of adversity and precarious survival to inspire his students, and his readers, to succeed in their goals and meet their full potential.
Across three continents, (Europe, Africa and Australia) Sam’s motivational presentations hearten and exhilarate people of all ages with reflections on his life’s journey, his family and how tennis saved his life.