A golden opportunity to learn from the best

Gold medal-winning athlete Daniel Caines visited Telford College to deliver a motivational workshop to sports students.

Daniel Caines delivers his motivational talk

Daniel, a former world 400m indoor and European 4x400m relay champion, spoke to students on the college’s level three course, run in conjunction with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

He revealed how he had overcome many setbacks and debilitating injuries on the road to success – and urged students to have a clear vision of their own objectives, and goals.

Daniel became the youngest indoor 400m champion in the world back in 2001, and revealed how he achieved sporting success despite a stress fracture in his back, which at one stage left him in a wheelchair.

Before detailing his journey, which also took him to the final of the Sydney Olympics, Daniel set the atmosphere in the classroom with a series of interactive activities, using ‘would you rather?’ style questions to challenge students’ attitudes.

Sharing family anecdotes, and the ups and downs of his career, he explained how, despite multiple setbacks, he didn’t give up.

“I had never won a race, so I told my father that I didn’t want to do it any more. He told me to think of five small things I could change to improve my performance.”

Daniel Caines, centre, with from left, Helen Stott=Slater, Ethan Thomas, Jack Clubley-Brown, and Nicole Stevens

Following his father’s advice, Daniel described how he changed his mindset and his lifestyle, and before he knew it had become the fastest 17-year-old 400m runner in the country.

He rounded off his presentation by encouraging Telford College students to picture their objectives and goals, and think of small changes they could make in order to achieve success.


Student Jack Clubley-Brown is considering his university options and said: “Daniel was really inspiring, and the workshop taught me that our only mistakes in life are our missed opportunities.”


Ashley Bowler, teaching and learning mentor for sport at Telford College, said he found the presentation ‘incredibly motivating’.

“Daniel visiting the students underlines a powerful message that hard work and discipline can lead to a successful career.”

The workshop was funded by the Aspire to HE partnership, which aims to create opportunities for young people in the West Midlands and supports their journey through to higher education.

Helen Stott-Slater, Telford College’s Aspire partnership officer, said: “The feedback from students has been very encouraging, and we hope he will return to the college in the near future for further workshops.”

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