Paralympian Says Sport Should Be Key Part of University Life

482632_610524245625185_1374310342_nTeam GB Paralympian David Wetherill has said students should make the most of the sporting opportunities in Sheffield, calling the cities sporting venues ‘phenomenal’.

Wetherill, a student himself at Sheffield University, has competed at both the Beijing and London Olympics, despite a heavy work load.

In an exclusive interview with Try Sheffield, the 23-year-old said: “I love Sheffield. It made combining sport with education so much easier.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it anywhere else in the UK.”

Asked whether he found it easy to combine study with his international sporting career, the Cornishman said: “I would say it’s important to do both. It’s possible, but it’s hard.

“There are a lot of parallels between the sporting mentality and everyday life that you can apply studying, and vice versa.

“Things like time management and commitment are obviously essential, and they occur in both sport and the real world.

Wetherill trains at the £24 million English Institute of Sport in Sheffield alongside the likes of Jessica Ennis, and he suggests it’s not hard to motivate yourself when working beside such famous athletes.

“Its so inspirational training in the same place as Jess Ennis, as well as many others. It motivates you so much more to push your body to the limit.

“She once said I was impressive, which was the moment of my life.

“But then I did nearly hit her when I sent a hurdle flying another time!”

But despite the glamour that comes with being a representative for Great Britain at the Olympics, as well as a guest on Celebrity Eggheads, Wetherill says sport has helped motivate him through university deadlines.

“I wouldn’t be able to go back to the library day in day out without having that active sporting release.

“It’s something to look forward to, and it relaxes you when you’re stressed.”

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Now a graduate, the table tennis star donates a lot of his time to charity, proving one of the faces of the ‘Do It for a Day’ campaign, which focused on offering cancer patients from Sheffield Children’s Hospital a chance to get involved in sports.

A sufferer of Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia, a rare bone disorder, the 23-year-old is also an active campaigner for research into Polio.

Sheffield boasts seven world standard sporting venues, including the National Institute for Sport, Pons Forge and athletics at the Don Valley Stadium, and Wetherill says every student in the city should take advantage.

“I’ve made so many friends through sport, and my social life and everything about my life is defined by my sport.

“It opens up so many opportunities as well as keeping you healthy. Every student should do it.”

For more information on David Wetherill, visit is Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/wetherill89

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