Sam got involved in triathlon through his dad, who competed at two World Triathlon Championships whilst he was growing up. When Sam was younger he raced junior triathlons, alongside playing football and doing everything else an under 10 would do. At the age of 10 Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
The 14th November 2001, World Diabetes Day. One day that changed everything... Or did it?
"I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 10. If I am brutally honest, I didn't have a clue what Diabetes was, what was happening to me, or what would and could happen in the future. I was lucky enough to have parents who could cope and understand the ins and outs right away. It was a fast and steep learning curve for my parents and me. Sport has always been my passion. Even before I was diagnosed. I have never considered my Diabetes to stop this.
I think the hardest part of it, is awareness or potentially the misinterpretation of the condition by others. Is he OK? Are his sugar levels fine? Does he need insulin? I honestly don't know if I'd know much about Diabetes if it wasn't for having it myself! Regardless of this, I race and train to the best of my ability. It is only a boundary if I let it be one!
Back to the question, did it change everything? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No. I like to look at it in the following way. It gave and still gives me a routine, something that a lot of people at that age didn't or don't have. Even at my age now, people struggle to find a routine. Further to this, routine is something that goes hand in hand with my sport.
If I could do one thing with my knowledge and experience I've gained up until this point it would be to help/inspire, another man, woman or child with diabetes. If I could change a persons view on diabetes for the better then that is fantastic. If I can positively impact someone affected by Diabetes, then I have made a difference in their life which is a wonderful feeling. Knowledge is power.
If you have any questions or stories I’d love to hear from you (here)."
Growing Up. My journey so far.
"Football aside, I loved athletics and cross country. I liked to run. With my local running team, Western Athletics Club, I had the opportunity to race on the main land annually at Sale Harriers. After football took over, I maintained a small interest in triathlon but only competed in a couple of races. This involved minimal training and not much input resulting in me not finishing as well as I think I could/should have. I maintained my interest with cross country throughout school and qualified to represent the Island at the Merseyside Schools Cross Country and then through that race I gained selection to represent Merseyside at the English Schools Cross Country Championships.
When I moved to University in September 2011, I decided that I would join the squad and see what I could do. I both wanted, and needed an outlet from the work aspect of University that had a positive impact on me. Triathlon offered me this. It was a great way to add structure to my diabetes, allowing me to keep it in check. Having competed at county level in Football, Basketball and Cross Country, I had a hunger to compete at the highest level possible. Due to injury I missed part of the 2012 season, having to change my goals to local races at the back end of the season and aim for the 2013 season as my first competitive year in the sport.
During my first competitive season I qualified and raced the 2013 World Age Group Triathlon Championships in London, going on to further represent Great Britain the following year at the 2014 World Age Group Championships in Edmonton, Canada. During this time I was asked to represent Team Novo Nordisk, an all Diabetic sports team racing to "Inspire, Educate and Empower those affected by Diabetes", which is led by our Pro-Cycling team (Read more here). My love for Triathlon only grew with 2015 seeing me represent Great Britain again at the European Championships in Geneva, Switzerland as well as representing the Isle of Man at the 2015 Island Games held in Jersey. My 2015 season culminated in finishing second at the British Triathlon Championships (20-24).
For the 2016 season I chose to pursue my Cycling ambitions solely and moved to the Team Novo Nordisk Development Team. Following 18 months at the team's base in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, I moved to the Professional Team as a Stagiaire (Trainee).
Following a successful stint in the pro-team for the second half of the 2017 season, racing in the Tour of Utah, Colorado Classic, Tour of China 1 & 2 and the Tour of Hainan, I signed my first professional contract with Team Novo Nordisk in 2018."
2018 far exceeded my expectations and was almost a dream first season competing in three World Tour events, including the 'monument'; Milan-San Remo. On top of this I was able to represent the Isle of Man at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. I am really looking forward to starting the 2019 season and further gain experience in the professional peloton. Thank you for all of your support and welcome to WWW.SAMUELBRAND.COM"
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sam!