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In 2005 Sam was making a name for himself in taekwondo by winning the ITF taekwondo sparring championship, placing second in the patterns championship, receiving the Dunedin taekwondo senior member of the year award and being selected for the Junior World ITF Taekwondo Camp.
However, a serious knee injury and subsequent reconstruction surgery closed the door on all sporting activity for a year.
Ever the optimist, he believes it opened many others.
He continued his academic achievement and expanded an interest in politics.
He was the first Pacific delegate at the fifth Asian Youth Forum in Bangkok (2007), the Dunedin South MP for Youth Parliament (2007), a National Young Leaders Day delegate (2007-08), he has been the New Zealand Asian Youth Forum director (2007-08), the Australasian delegate at the Future Leaders of Asia Forum in Manila this year, and a recent delegate at the Apec NZ Voices of the Future conference in Christchurch.
Sam says he is all the richer for his extracurricular activities, and now his injuries have healed, he has been able to achieve a black belt in taekwondo, a place in the school 1st XV and is captain of the Kings snowboarding team.
He continues in the martial art as the co-captain of the Dunedin taekwondo demonstration team and has established a taekwondo beginner's class at his Dunedin club.
Next year he plans to study at Victoria University.
Achievements: 2005 ITF Taekwondo sparring champion; third in form (2005-07); house captain (2008); school prefect (2008); student council chairman (2008); school musical (2008); SADD representative (2007-08); stage challenge (2007-08); inaugural winner Kings Citizen of the Year award (2007); Peter Hill Trophy for Services to Kings Rugby (2006); 2nd XI; 1st XV (2008).
Role model: Muhammad Ali.
Hopes for the future: To study architecture at Victoria University.