Sam Jalloh has fast become one of the most popular international speakers, sharing his story of hardship and determination in his epic biography titled: ‘How Tennis Saved My Life’. Born in war-torn Sierra Leone, Sam grew up with only one meal per day as that’s all his family could afford, he turned to tennis as a way to escape the constant threat of attack and developed a love for the sport. His family were not that supportive of him playing a sport which was for ‘rich white people’, his dad wanted him to become a doctor so he did not have to struggle every day for food. Now, as a two-time TEDx speaker, Sam shares his story of escaping from life-or-death situations, and shares with his audience how they can achieve their dreams when they change their mindset to one of growth and determination.
Growing up in a war-torn country was tough for Sam, he was just nine years old when war enveloped Sierra Leone as he saw close friends and family members pass away, too young to understand what was happening around him. He was always athletic, and took to tennis like a duck to water. His talent was spotted by coaches who later trained him to become an international tennis player, achieving his dreams. The journey to achieving his dreams was not straight forward, Sam, aged 16, was captured by Nigerian soldiers and was beaten and bruised. For years he tried to qualify for the Sierra Leone Junior National Team but failed time and time again. Aged 17 Sam had one last chance to make his dream become reality. Training harder than ever, Sam managed to achieve this goal.
Sam is now an international tennis coach and has had the opportunity to tour with numerous high-profile tennis stars, dedicating much of his time to his students as a physical, nutritional and mental coach. In recognition of his resilience in the face of adversity, Sam has been awarded the BBC Inspirations Award and the Queen’s Voluntary Service Award. Everything which Sam speaks about is based on his own experiences as he shares his journey on how to turn something with a 1% chance into a 100% possibility with the right mindset and attitude.
In a country where he saw many young people become child soldiers, Sam is thankful that he can now share his experiences with others. His journey has been featured on the likes on BBC Sports, BBC One Breakfast, BBC Sunday Morning Live and BBC Africa to name a few. His second book, ‘Can’t Break the African Spirit’ has received stellar reviews and Sam has given over one thousand talks to schools, universities, theatres, and companies to those who are looking for inspiration. Proving he has the mental resilience to overcome any boundaries in his way as a black man in a predominantly white sport, Sam shares his proven tools with his audience so they can reach their dreams. Consider hiring Sam Jalloh today for your next event as a speaker with a story which will only be heard once in a lifetime.