A few severe concussions put an end to all contact sports but last night Perth financial planner Rob Sandover channelled his competitive nature to make it through to the semifinals of Australian Ninja Warrior.
“It was a cool experience in the way that I haven’t had much to work towards in terms of elite competition in quite some time because I’ve had a few concussions that made me stop all contact sports,” he told AAA.
His concussions from playing rugby and from a snowboarding accident also resulted in amnesia, which he joked was why he kept setting goals for himself.
“My memory isn’t very good so I kind of forget what I achieve, I kind of have to keep setting goals,” he laughed.
The 24-year-old joined the Ninja Academy in Perth 15 months ago and jumped at the chance to apply for the Nine show.
“I didn’t want to set any expectations but I was going to be pretty annoyed if I didn’t make the semifinals,” he said.
“It was definitely more challenging than I expected, not physically but more so mentally because you put a lot of pressure on yourself to perform.”
His training in the lead-up to Ninja Warrior involved wearing a 15kg weight vest to improve his grip strength.
“It actually tore my hand up pretty bad because it puts a lot of weight on your hand, which you aren’t really used to but I think it helped massively with my grip strength.”
Sandover, who works full-time and is studying his masters in financial planning, said he was hoping he could be a role model.
“You don’t need to be a full-time athlete, you don’t need to train seven hours a day, seven days a week to do this kind of thing. You can have a work-life balance where you work in a high-stress role but you still make time to maintain your health.”