Profession: Sports teacher and Head of Year
Sean grew up in Moss Side in Manchester to an Irish father and a Jamaican mother. Where he lived, witnessing violence and hearing shootings was a normal, regular occurrence for him.
His father’s spent ten years in prison and he moved with his mother to East Manchester. Sean struggled with moving from a multicultural area to a predominately white community, and as a result, he suffered extreme racism, which he never told anyone about. To combat the abuse, he would pretend to wash his bike with bleach but instead would scrub the bleach on his arms to lighten his skin tone.
As he grew taller and more physically imposing, Sean started to fight back but admits to going from being bullied to being a bully, to shift the attention he away from him, something he is now ashamed of.
In his early twenties, he fell into the wrong crowd but soon changed his ways when he was offered the chance to become a teacher. He’s now Head of Year 10 and also teaches sports. Sean has excelled in his career and is determined to provides his pupils with the care he needed when he was younger.
Well done, you made it to the final stage of the course. How does that feel?
I feel extremely proud. Before the course started I envisioned I wouldn’t get past Day five, so to make the final seven is a real achievement and one I’m proud of.
Why do you think you made it so far?
I believe in myself. Self-belief is all you really need to fulfil your potential, physically. I’d trained my hardest to reach the penultimate stages. Mentally I believed I’d prepared as much as possible to get in the frame of mind needed to see it out. But self-belief and determination to see out the course was my main focus.
At any point in the course, did you consider giving up? What made you continue?
Yes, on the leadership tasks. I consider myself a natural leader, something I believe I’m strong at and should have excelled in, but I failed to secure the bergens on the boat tasks and it really made me question my own ability. Self-doubt started to creep in and my body was exhausted. For the first time, I asked myself if I deserved to be on the course and whether I was worthy of my number.
The last part of the course was the toughest and not many made it past that stage. What made you keep going?
My call home. Seeing my older brother - who I look up to - really did give me the mental drive to push on. He’s always pushed me to be the best I can be. I’d often hear him during the physical tasks in my head telling me not to give up.
What was the worst part of the course for you? Why?
Without a doubt, RTI! (Resistance to Interrogation). You can train your body physically for any demands you come across but your mind is whole different tool. Sleep deprived, starving, cold and wet, your mind is all you have. Add the stress positions every 15 minutes listening to babies screaming in your ears, is just not something you can prepare for nor do you know how you will react. You lose track of all natural senses, time, smell, feelings, thoughts, hearing. All the sensory details our bodies need to function are stripped away and it’s just your empty starved shell of a brain trying to make sense of what’s going on! Brutal!
What was the first thing you did after you left the course?
The minute I landed back in Manchester, I went to see my grandmother for some Caribbean food and a cuddle! She had no idea where I’d been or what I’d done but it was nice to be around normality, have a brew and tell her I love her. You appreciate so much when you come out of an experience like SAS, the little things matter. Never take them for granted.
Describe your experience on SAS: Who Dares Wins?
The experience for me was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Physically and mentally, my mind, body and soul was taken to its depth. This is what makes it unique! I’m incredibly grateful for everything I’ve learned and whole heartedly returned to civilian life a better person than I was before I started the course
Would you ever do it again?
What do you think you’ve learnt about yourself?
I’ve learned how to control my aggression. More so how to face adversity when I’m in difficult situations. This is something I struggled with before I went on the course.
Has being on the series changed your life in anyway?
I now understand my purpose, and more importantly WHO I AM. it’s a difficult thing sometimes when you look in the mirror and don’t recognise yourself. It took the brutality of the course and some time away from society for me to do that and can honestly say I’m a better man for it.