Former Commonwealth champion and LSBU graduate bounces back!Former Commonwealth Taekwondo silver medal winner Daniel Walters is used to high targets – and he's crediting LSBU for helping to hit them
Southwark local, Daniel Walters, 28, has been studying Taekwondo in Southwark from the age of four when he was introduced to the sport by his father – a former British champion and coach. Daniel came to LSBU to study BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, and was encouraged by his tutors to compete at an international level whilst studying in order to receive a full scholarship from the university.
This gave Daniel the push he needed, leading him to compete in a series of international competitions including winning the bronze medal in the Croatia Open. However it was winning silver in the 2011 Commonwealth Championships which he said was the pinnacle of his competitive career so far.
Daniel said: "LSBU gave me a lot of support during my studies. They gave me a bit of academic flexibility and they understood that I had to train really hard. Top class training facilities, high level coaches, nutritionists and training partners were all on hand at the Academy of Sport."
"I was attracted to LSBU as it was a local university and they had a Taekwondo scholarship, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I didn't have the grades I wanted so I came through clearing as a mature student."
"The coach said I had to fight to a higher level in order to achieve a full scholarship. I started fighting internationally and was told I was too heavy, but eventually, once I was helped to drop to a lower weight category I started getting success and qualified for the full scholarship in my second year."
Tragedy struck in January 2014 just months into his training to compete in the Commonwealth Championships when Daniel was involved in a road accident, abruptly putting his Taekwondo career on hold due to a knee injury.
Now however he is on his way to recovery and working as a Duty Officer at LSBU's recently refurbished Sport Centre, which he says will allow him to take his passion for his sport to the Southwark community. In addition, his own Taekwondo club is based at the Albrighton Centre in Dog Kennel Hill (also in Southwark) where Daniel teaches Taekwondo on most days.
His determination and the knowledge he acquired from his studies means he is close to regaining full strength in his leg, and will soon return to competing in international competitions.
Daniel said: "LSBU did a lot to help me before and after my injury. I wouldn't have got high level success if it wasn't for the support of LSBU and the coach that trained me. This success then allowed me to start a club of my own and feel confident that I have something more to offer as a personal trainer whilst helping others to reach their own targets bringing even more success to the brilliant Academy of Sport here at LSBU."