Former Bedford College sports student Dan Bullen from St Neots will fly the flag of England after being selected for the 2022 Commonwealth Games para table tennis squad.
The 24-year-old has been awarded a wild card in the men’s class 3-5 event, which will take place at the NEC in Birmingham from Wednesday (August 3).
At Bedford College, Dan succeeded in gaining a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Sport and progressed at the College to Level 3. Such was the admiration for Daniel’s efforts that he was included in a celebratory film shown at the college Achievements Ceremony on December 2nd 2016.
Talent and dedication
Daniel, who has cerebral palsy, has combined talent with huge amounts of dedication to make his mark.
“I got into table tennis at a disability sports club in Norfolk, where we used to live,” said Dan,
“One of the coaches there (Mark Spinks) had the same disability as me and he’d just come back from the CP World Games. I saw he was good at it and I wanted to be as well.
“Before I played table tennis I couldn’t catch a ball – I had no co-ordination whatsoever. It took me a year to hit the ball over the net.”
When coach Spinks had taken him as far as he could, Daniel met former Paralympic coach Mark Mitchell, who has a wealth of experience working with wheelchair players, at the 2009 School Games.
Daniel began travelling from Norfolk to St Neots two or three times a week in order to train with Mitchell, before the family moved to Cambridgeshire to make life easier.