The Shaw Trust Power 100 is an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK, with Sam Holness, a triathlete with autism, shortlisted for 2020.
Holness has been hooked on the sport since his first race in 2016 and, ever since, has wanted to promote the sport and physical activity among people with disabilities.
He was nominated for the Power 100 list by a family friend who has seen his dedication to sport and the awareness he wants to bring about people with disabilities taking part.
“I was so excited when I got the news that I was a finalist and I can’t wait to find out if I have made the final list,” commented Holness. “Anything that encourages people with disabilities to participate in sport is welcome and I’m really happy to play my part.”
The trust welcome nominations of individuals who make a difference achieving their goals and open up opportunities for other people with disabilities, as well as those who challenge attitudes towards disability and create inclusivity.
Earlier this year, Holness was named on the Education & Training Foundation’s list ‘Tomorrow’s Leaders: A World Beyond Disability’ and is hoping his experiences and story can increase participation of people with disabilities and from a BAME background in sport and physical activity.
“I want to motivate people with disabilities to take up sport, and athletes from the BAME community to join the triathlon family,” added Holness.
“Being chosen as a finalist is fantastic if it helps to raise the awareness of the need for exercise amongst people with disabilities. It has also helped to make up for the disappointment of not being able to race this year because of Covid-19 and will encourage me to continue working hard.
“I’ve used 2020 to build my aerobic capacity and core strength as a way of filling the gap left by not racing or being able to access swimming pools. Next year I’m moving up to the full iron distance, with the plan to focus on long distance events in the future.”
The Power 100 list is one way in which the Shaw Trust aims to change perceptions of and normalise disability, tackle social exclusion and inequality and provide role models. The Power 100 list was topped by comedian and TV show host Alex Brooker in 2019.
You can follow Sam’s training and how he gets on with his nomination on Instagram (@samholnesstri) and find out more about The Shaw Trust Power 100 on their website below.
If you'd like to find out more about taking part in paratriathlon, please click here.