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From sport to science

1 April 2020

A two-time Paralympian, who inspired Westminster City School pupils during our last PSHCE Day, is working on the NHS frontline during the COVID-19 crisis.

Kim Daybell completed his medical degree in 2018 and has since combined table tennis with part-time work as a junior doctor. Now, instead of sports training, he is working full-time at north London’s Whittington Hospital.

Kim gave a motivating talk to our pupils at our November PSHCE Day. (PSHCE stands for Personal, Social, Health, and Citizens Education). He explained to pupils how his disability (he was born with Poland’s Syndrome, a rare condition that meant he did not have fingers on his right hand) did not stop him from studying to be a doctor or playing sport. Kim also advised our pupils to “put yourself out there, even when the fear of failure is real” and to develop through any failures, such as undertaking further practice to ensure you succeed next time.

Talking about his work at Whittington Hospital now, Kim told British Para Table Tennis: “One of the things that people seem to be struggling with is that feeling of powerlessness, where they can’t do anything. I’m lucky to have the skill set to help fight what is going on and that is a positive that I’m taking. 

“Obviously table tennis has completely taken a back seat now, but it will always be there for me, so I’ll keep it in mind for when this blows over. But for now, we just need to focus on making sure everyone stays healthy and looking after each other.”

Kim, who started playing table tennis as a child, has represented Paralympics GB at London 2012 and Rio 2016. He won silver at the 2017 European Championships and was training for Tokyo Paralympics 2020, which have now been postponed to 2021.

As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, all at Westminster City School wish Kim the best with his much needed medical work, as well as with his future sporting goals.

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