Posted: 01.10.19 at 16:06 by The Editor
Sprinter Sam Gordon is chasing an Olympic dream alongside his role as Activity Coordinator for the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Sports and Play Development team.
The 24-year-old athlete divides his time between training on the track and organising after-school sports sessions for Vale pupils.
Dubbed the fastest man in Wales, Sam holds the national 100m record having scorched to a wind-assisted time of 10.08 seconds in July.
Now he hopes to become the first Welshman to run the distance sub-10 seconds as he bids to secure a place on the Great Britain team at next summer’s Games in Tokyo.
“Going under 10 seconds would be ground-breaking, it would be life-changing, not just for myself but for Welsh athletics in general,” said Sam.
“It would change everything because it's not been done before. A whole door could open if someone achieves something of that magnitude.”
The Cardiff Running Club member spends around 20 hours a week honing his sprinting talent, juggling that commitment with Council duties.
Sam helps run a number of after-school sports sessions, including one at Stanwell School where last week the ITV News cameras visited to document his unique story.
The runner’s role as Activity Coordinator within the Council’s healthy living team is designed to increase the number of children who are physically active.
As part of the 5x60 /Active Young people programme, Sam helps provide a range of opportunities to encourage pupils who may not otherwise take part in extra-curricular school clubs.
Away from the day job, Sam suffered disappointment last year, missing out on a British team spot for the World Championships.
But, undeterred, he is pushing hard to be on the plane to Japan in around 10 months’ time.
“I thought with the way others were performing and how my year went, I would have been in with a shout of going to the World Championships as part of the relay team,” Sam added.
“Sadly, that didn’t happen and it did hurt a bit because I was like I wish I was there. I’m not going to lie, I had a little cry because I came so close and I put in so much work this year and I still fell short.
“It did hit home really hard and I did think am I doing this sport for the right reasons.
“It's that extra one per cent I need to get in order to get in the Olympic team. If I do make it I will bust into tears.”
Sam is currently fundraising to help him on his Olympic journey.
Unlike most of those competing, Mr. Gordon does not receive full funding for his athletics career.
This means he has to maintain a job alongside his sprinting training, which he says is a "huge disadvantage against my competitors."
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