Meet Dan

Dan, 32, was a Treloar's student from the ages of six to 20. He has a degree in graphic design from Portsmouth University and currently works as a freelance graphic designer.

Dan competed in BC2 Boccia for athletes who require no assistance. He was a gold medallist in the Beijing 2008 Paralympics and won bronze in the London 2012 Paralympics.

We caught up with Dan when he paid a visit to Treloar's.

How long have you played Boccia?

I started playing Boccia at Treloar’s. Sandra King [a former PE teacher at Treloar's] got me into it and encouraged me to have a go and it carried on from there.

What attracted you to the game?

I thought it was something I could do and go far with. At times I didn't think I could go as far as I did.

I got two European championships in 2005 but then got dropped for the next two years. I wasn't meant to go to Beijing but before selection I had a good run and won a competition in Canada when I beat the then world-ranking number one Nigel Murray.

What do you like about Boccia?

I like winning! I like competing. I like the whole competition atmosphere. I'm very competitive. The bigger the competition, the better I am.

How did Treloar's support you?

Treloar's helped me with my independence when I was here. They taught me to live on my own. Barry also helped me. He is a very good coach. He understands disability and he understands if you're having a bad day, not to have a go at you. In that way he stops you getting uptight which would only make you get worse. Instead, he talks to you calmly and quietly and then you're back laughing and joking. Barry's coaching is quiet but effective.

Did you ever think you'd reach Paralympics standard?

When I first started I never thought I'd be in the Paralympics, but then about a year after I started I realised I had potential.

What was your biggest Boccia challenge and how did you overcome it?

I got two European Championships in 2005 but for the two years 2006-2007 I got dropped from the World Championships and the World Cup. This was not because of my skills but rather for political reasons. But then I got on a good roll, won the British Championship in 2008 and ended up being selected for the Paralympics in Beijing.

What was your best Boccia moment?

The Paralympics in Beijing was my biggest buzz. Winning that is the biggest you can get. But I was personally delighted to win the British Championships in 2008 when I beat Nigel in the finals in Cardiff.