Unity behind comic book store’s hero

INSPIRED: Buninyong para-athlete Sam Rizzo is preparing to race in the world juniors and comic book fans are urged to help him get there. Picture: Kate Healy
INSPIRED: Buninyong para-athlete Sam Rizzo is preparing to race in the world juniors and comic book fans are urged to help him get there. Picture: Kate Healy

READ MORE: Rizzo off to worlds

Comic fans are absolutely passionate and friendly and they're all part of Sam's world too. We have to help him get there.

Heroes HQ boss Jeannine le Vaillant

COMIC fans across town are urged to get behind their comic book guy.

Para-athlete Sam Rizzo has been called up to contest his first World Para-Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland later this year.

While he prepares to attempt his own super-feat, Sam is also trying hard to save up to try and get their.

Heroes HQ, where Sam works after school, has launched a fundraising campaign  to get their own sporting hero to Nottwil.

All money raised will support Sam and any extra will help support his coach, Paralympic track gold medallist Richard Colman, to travel with him. Colman, at the moment, is funding his own trip to be there.

Heroes HQ owner Jeannine le Vaillant has called on the comic book community to unite behind Sam’s mission.

“Comic fans are absolutely passionate and friendly and they’re all part of Sam’s world too,” Ms le Vaillant said. “We have to help him get there.”

Sam is in a team training camp in Canberra this weekend and is set to leave for the world juniors on July 29.

He has been juggling his racing commitments with studies and work shifts and said his school Damascus College had also been a big support. 

Sam could hardly wait to test his form on a world stage as he continues to focus on his big long-term goal, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Heroes HQ hosted a comic book day earlier this year, raising about $270 from gold coin donations, to chip in to Sam’s nationals bid.

This time, the store has set a $3000 target to cover Sam’s costs to get to Switzerland, which are not covered by the team.

Sam’s selection comes after an impressive summer athletics season, which included five state medals and an Australian record. He also won the Great Ocean Road wheelchair marathon.

Off the track, Ms le Vaillant said Sam was great with customers, knew how to answer their often obscure comic questions and was a fast learner for finding his way around the floor. Most customers wanted a way to help him reach the world stage.

To support Sam: gofundme.com/help-send-sam-to-switzerland.