Every month, we feature LSBU alumni who have made notable achievements since completing their studies. Read on to find out more about this month’s profiled alumni and their success.
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Alumni of the month – March 2015
BSc (Hons) Sports & Exercise Science, 2011
Daniel Walters is a former Commonwealth Taekwondo silver medal winner and British Taekwondo National Champion who is no stranger in overcoming adversity after surviving a career-threatening road accident in 2014. Currently working as a Personal Trainer and Duty Officer at LSBU’s Academy of Sport whilst also running his Taekwondo club, Daniel plans to return to competitive fighting at international tournaments in 2015.
As a Southwark local, the choice to study at LSBU was an easy one as Daniel was attracted to the University’s Elite Scholarship scheme for Taekwondo: “LSBU gave me a lot of support during my studies. When I joined here I couldn't have imagined how close I'd become with all of the lecturers who really helped me.”
It was Daniel’s relationship with Taekwondo coach and Course Director Dr David Cook that was instrumental in helping him reach peak performance and become a successful international fighter: “He is truly the most inspirational coach and lecturer I’ve ever met. My memories of training with Dave and the other athletes are my fondest and I’ve made some lifelong friends.”
Under David’s guidance, Daniel competed in a series of international competitions. The pinnacle of his competitive career came when he won the silver medal in the 2011 Commonwealth Championships in India: “It was a mind-blowing experience. Dave was great at creating training programmes which prepared me to peak when it was necessary. I had never been to India before and that in itself was fantastic.”
Less than a year later, Daniel suffered a serious injury to his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) whilst training. He had to undergo PCL reconstruction where an artificial ligament was fitted and although this was a huge setback, it did not deter him from reaching his goals. Daniel worked hard to rehabilitate his knee after the surgery and began training again. In 2013, he won the British Taekwondo National Championships with proud coach & mentor Dr Cook watching on.
Daniel’s role at LSBU’s newly refurbished Sport Centre allows him to take his passion for sport to the Southwark community. His own Taekwondo club, the Walters Family School of Taekwondo, is based at the Bussey Building in Peckham Rye (also in Southwark) where he teaches every day: “The long-term goal for me is to run a leisure facility. For now, I’m just concentrating on picking up as many skills as possible and LSBU Academy of Sport is helping me to grow as a Personal Trainer and fitness professional.”
In addition to his mental strength, Daniel’s achievements can be attributed to a philosophy of setting and achieving small goals to help reach the bigger ones: “Talent does not win you medals. Millions of reasons to cancel training will come up and setbacks always happen in life. Hard work, dedication and commitment are what drive success.”
LSBU's BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science is accredited by the Register of Exercise Professionals and focuses on the science of exercise, training, rehabilitation, injury prevention and athletic performance.