Danny Sidbury is an inspirational T54 wheelchair athlete, who we will hopefully see at the Tokyo Paralympics. He has been racing professionally for 4 years. He ranks in the top 3 athletes in the UK for all distances - including Half-Marathon! He is also amongst the top 10 athletes in Europe and top 30 in the world. I sat with him to discuss his remarkable journey and hopes for the future. 

What started your sports journey?

My sports journey started when I was 8 years old; my dad got me a racing chair and I started training back in 2002, quit a month later, went to Spain and lived there for 11 years. I came back and picked it back up again at the age of 19.

How has your life changed since becoming an athlete?

My life has changed a lot since taking up sports professionally. I don’t have much of a social life. I obviously train a lot, but sport has taught me a lot of things about determination, focus and discipline, all of which are good qualities to have, and which I use in other aspects of my life as well.

What has been the biggest challenge?

One of the most challenging things I’ve faced was doing a half marathon on a flat tyre. Completing the London marathon for the first time was also very challenging and I’m sure there’s many other challenges to come.

How often do you train?

I train 6 days a week, often twice a day, and that’ll be a mixture of doing lots of miles out on the road, technique work on the track and weights in the gym.

Do you have a special diet as an athlete?

I do have a special diet. Nutrition is obviously very important and I’ve experimented with different diets. At the moment, I’m on a low-carb, high-fat diet, which seems to be working for me - but I do like to have carbohydrates in the morning, which I burn off training. I have porridge with a banana and a little bit of peanut butter as well.

What is your best achievement in your opinion?

That is a good question. Well, I enjoyed winning the Westminster mile, the Vitality 10k and the Almería half marathon. I also enjoyed getting invited to Zurich Diamond League - that was a very good experience. Hopefully there are more achievements to come - watch this space!

And finally, where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In ten years time, I’ll be 35! Wheelchair athletes tend to peak in their 30s, so hopefully I’ll be in really really good shape and going to Paralympic Games, winning medals and World Championships and things like that.

By Violeta Palekar