This week, we’re delighted to introduce you to our sport scholar, Water Polo player, Daniel Paddon!
Dan regularly competes with our Manchester-based men’s water polo club and, for the last month, has been an integral member of the 1st team, who have closed 2015 at the top of the BUCS Northern 1A.
Before coming to Manchester Metropolitan University, Daniel competed for his home clubs, Chelmsford and Invicta, but since moving to Manchester has started playing for City of Manchester.
We spoke to Dan about his achievements in and out of the pool, and his advice for young athletes.
What is the highest level at which you have ever competed or received representative honours?
“I’ve represented the English Schools Swimming Association (ESSA) on the international stage in Malta.”
What are your greatest sporting achievements?
“Winning my first international competition, where I was part of a team that beat Malta, South Africa and a Dutch representative side.”
What are your notable achievements outside of sport?
“ I’ve raised £8000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research , I’ve also completed by Duke of Edinburgh awards and, during my time at school and college, I was awarded two Jack Petchey Awards.”
How did you get involved with your sport?
“I used to be a competitive swimmer so my PE teacher got me to try a water polo taster session at school during National Sport Week and it all went from there…”
Why did you choose to study your course?
“I choose to study Sport and Exercise Science because whilst studying PE at A level I found a real passion and interest in sport science. I find it really interesting as I can relate it to myself as an athlete which gives it relevance.”
What are your future ambitions and aspirations?
“My ambitions are to first represent GB at the European Qualifiers and then to qualify. I am also aiming to represent England at the Commonwealth Games.”
Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
“My parents have definitely been the biggest influence on my life, as they have continued to support me mentally and financially. Without their generous financial contributions, I would not be in the positon I am now as I would never have been a swimmer and then never been able to afford the training camps and trips abroad with water polo. “
What is the best part about being a high performance athlete?
“The honour of representing your country has to be the best part of being a high performance athlete, it should motivate any athlete to work hard in order to succeed and possibly get the chance to represent your country.
“You also get to travel the world, which is an amazing experience.”
What advice would you give to a young athlete?
“I’d say, listen to all the advice that is given to you, but most importantly always respect your coach and give 100% in everything you do.”