In 1999, Dan applied to join the army but was deferred due to an asthma condition as a child. He was encouraged to join the Military Preparation Course in Cardiff which is part of the MPCT we know today. He benefited greatly from the physical and outdoor activities but recalls he was less keen on the classroom work. He persevered, and in 2000 was accepted into the army and, after training joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
With 8 years training under his belt and qualifications for the rank of Sergeant gained, his career was progressing really well. Unfortunately Dan, whilst on operations in Afghanistan in 2008, stepped on the pressure plate of an improvised explosive device placed by a terrorist.
The injuries he sustained that day changed his life forever. He had lost his left leg below the knee, the calf from his right leg was missing, his pelvis had to be pinned and plated back together and there was a hole between his legs where the shrapnel had entered his body, severing his artery. To make matters worse, his left knee had also been shattered. Those first 3 years after the incident were, without doubt, some of the hardest days of his life. He says “it felt like everything I’d ever been good at had been taken from me”.
Dan eventually recovered and, always looking for a challenge, took up skiing. In 2016, after time in the Foundation Team (where he competed in the British Championships) he moved up a grade to the Race Team and was advised to get his own ski rig which would improve his performance. Costing over £7000 it was going to be a tall order. However with the help of Huw Lewis the MD of MPCT and Steve Williams the Welfare Trustee for the Motivation & Learning Trust, the hunt for funds was gaining pace. With a donation from the MLT and many other organisations the money was found and the equipment was purchased. Dan was on his way!
In late 2017 Dan was selected to travel to South Korea to experience the 2018 Winter Paralympic games. This is where future Paralympians can experience the excitement and tensions of competition at the highest level. He benefited greatly from the experience, which he really enjoyed and it is planned that he competes in the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing, China. That is now his focus for the future. Unfortunately Skiing is an expensive sport, and he is always looking for sponsors to help him achieve his dream of becoming a Paralympian in 2022.
He would like to take this opportunity to thank Huw Lewis, Steve Williams, and all his team for everything they have helped him with. Not just for the funding but also for helping to mould him into the man he is today. He’d also like to thank his partner Roslyn for putting up with him through good times and bad.