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Eleven-time GB Paralympic gold winner runs college training session

David Roberts Visit

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.”

Posted by Marketing at 08:54

Paralympic success for Ystrad Mynach student

Hollie Arnold

Picture courtesy of worldwidefeatures.com

A student from The College Ystrad Mynach has returned from the London Paralympics having finished fifth and securing a personal best in the F46 javelin contest.  

Hollie Arnold, 18, narrowly missed out on a medal at this year’s Games with a throw of 36.27 metres and now has her sights firmly set on the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, where she is also hoping to compete in discus as well as javelin.

Hollie, who lives in Hengoed and studied sport development at The College Ystrad Mynach, was the youngest ever thrower when she competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics aged just 14.

Originally from Grimsby in north Lincolnshire, Hollie and her family moved to South Wales just over a year ago to enable her to access coaching and take advantage of the high quality sports development opportunities available in Wales.

The dedicated teenager, who was born with part of her lower right arm missing, trains at Sport Wales National Centre and Cardiff Metropolitan University and was awarded a BTEC in Level 1 Sport from The College Ystrad Mynach in 2011.

Hollie first became interested in javelin at the age of ten after seeing older brother Ashley throw. Determined to have a go herself, she picked up the javelin and discovered she had a talent for the sport.

Her skills and determination, as well as the support of her family, have seen her win an impressive array of awards in the four years she has been throwing professionally.

Hollie, who has also competed in discus and shot putt at junior world level, ranked third in the senior world after winning bronze at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Senior Championships in New Zealand.

Hollie said: “The experience of being in the Paralympics has been absolutely amazing. It’s such a great feeling to go out into the crowd and feel so proud to represent Team GB and know that everyone there is wanting you to do well.

“I’m so grateful to my family for all their support and everything they’ve done to get me where I am today.”

The talented athlete added: “My mum and dad have really influenced and motivated me because of everything that they’ve sacrificed for me. Everyone should know that no matter what disability you’ve got, you have to try your best as you never know how far you’ll get.”

Having worked hard training for the Paralympic Games, Hollie is planning to stay in Wales to train for the upcoming World Championships in France and the Commonwealth Games in 2014. She is also keen to learn to drive, having postponed it to prioritise training for the Paralympics. She is also considering returning to studying sports development.

She said: “Staff at The College Ystrad Mynach were really lovely and extremely supportive and always let me have time off for competitions. They understand that, as an athlete, you have commitments you need to meet.”

Posted by Marketing at 16:35