Eleven-time British Paralympic gold medal winner David Roberts CBE recently visited Ystrad Mynach College to deliver a motivational training session for students.
David, from Beddau in Rhondda Cynon Taff – who won gold medals at the Sydney, Beijing and Athens Paralympic Games – delivered an hour-long presentation to over 250 students, followed by practical sessions to individual students.
The Paralympic athlete – currently in training for 2016 Paralympic Games – mentored students on his principles for success in life.
Students studying for BTECs in Travel and Tourism, Sport and Public Services benefited from the session, focussed on improving their all-round approach to life during and after college.
As well as a hectic training schedule, David is also a director at Concept Sports Management – a Cardiff-based sports agency, set up to help athletes maximise their earning potential throughout their career.
He believes the values instilled in him from a young age – such as determination, motivation and preparation – are still essential in today’s world.
David said: “By living my life according to the principles of hard work, determination and over preparation, I have achieved a level of success I couldn’t have dreamt about as a child – but it doesn’t come easily.
“Before every race, I pre-pack my bag well in advance and ensure that I get to the venue long before I need to be there – and this level of preparation shouldn’t just apply to athletes.
“Students can apply these principles all over their academic careers, and in their later lives to achieve their dreams and ambitions, as the sky really is the limit – it just requires that extra effort, commitment and dedication.”
Taking part in the training session, student Stephanie Colwill, added: “Working with David has opened my eyes to the level of commitment and motivation required to succeed at the top level.
“I’m studying for a Level Three BTEC in Sport and I’m determined to get into netball club management – so this talk has certainly helped to prepare me for the future.”
Bryn Davies, Principal at The College Ystrad Mynach, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome such a successful and dedicated athlete to the college to mentor our students.
“David is an inspiration to us all and I hope our students have benefited from a unique experience that I’m sure will inspire them for the rest of their lives.”
Steve Griffin, owner of Concept Sports Management, said: “David’s enthusiasm can rub off on anybody and he is always looking to give something back to the community that has helped him develop into the person he is today.
“David’s commitment to training – and life in general – is a lesson to us all and everybody can learn from him, no matter how successful they have become.”