Students at Sheldon School recently enjoyed a visit from former pupil Paralympian Dan Bethell who recently won a silver medal in badminton at the 2020 games in Tokyo.
During the visit to the school in Chippenham, Dan, who has a lower limb disability, played a series of rallies with students from Year 7 through to Year 13, before speaking at a Year 7 assembly regarding his journey to Paralympic success. This was followed by a Q&A session with A-level PE students and the school’s SK4 sports ambassadors.
“Dan is a very charismatic and inspirational speaker, and talked about embracing all sports at Sheldon School,” said Rob Humphreys, Head of Year 13, who helped to arrange Dan’s visit. “He was a very gifted racket sport player but also played for the school rugby team. He never let his disability hold him back and embraced all PE lessons and clubs.
“Dan talked to the students about the importance of having other things in his life alongside his sport. While excelling at badminton he has gained a master’s degree in law. He then talked openly about his Paralympic experience and his ambition to win gold in Paris.
“At the Q&A, he answered a broad range of questions which included his preparation for matches (diet, mental preparation), his role models and how his life has changed following his success.”
The visit finished with Dan presenting the Headteacher, Mr Neil Spurdell, with a signed Team GB shirt that he wore in the competition.