The head of a Chippenham school says they are “extremely proud” of a former pupil who has just won a silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Daniel Bethell, 25, spent seven years at Sheldon School until 2014, leaving with four A levels.

He has just won a silver medal in the SL3 Men’s Single final at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games in Japan, after being beaten 21-14 21-17 to the gold medal by Pramod Bhagat from India.

Neil Spurdell, head teacher at Sheldon School, said: “Everyone at the school is extremely proud of Dan’s achievements. It was fantastic to see him do so phenomenally well at the weekend.”

Daniel, who now lives in Bath, competes in SL3 Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles alongside Bobby Griffin.

Ranked second in the world in Singles, he is a three-time European champion and took silver at the 2019 World Championships in Basel.

After lockdown, Daniel made a successful return to the court by winning the 2021 Spain International, the final tournament before the Paralympics in Tokyo.

The Spanish success backed up previous International triumphs in Japan and Canada as Mr Bethell, who started playing badminton aged 13 after being inspired by the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, added to his trophy collection.

Daniel has completed a master’s degree in International and Commercial Law at the University of Bristol and was a keen tennis player in his youth.

Mr Spurdell said: “Dan left school seven years ago and when he was here he played tennis against able-bodied students and nothing ever got in his way.

“He is a really lovely chap and he has already been in touch with our PE department to ask if he can come back to the school and show us his silver medal.

“He’s also looking for a badminton rematch against our PE teacher Rob Humphreys, so that should be fun to watch.”

Dan’s silver medal means ParalympicsGB have now won medals in 17 different sports at Tokyo 2020 – the highest of any nation in a single Games.

Attentions have already turned to Paris for Mr Bethell, who is eyeing up the top step of the podium in three years’ time.

But his work is about more than just the results on court, hoping his performances in the Yoyogi National Stadium can help inspire the next generation of players in his sport.

“It’s amazing. I’m so happy with this week; it was my dream to win a Paralympic medal and to do that, it’s just fantastic,” he said.

“I really wanted to win gold but all credit to Pramod, he played an amazing game, the variety of his attack was devastating and he kept at it the whole time, he deserved to win.

“The sport has grown so much since I first started and for the sport to be here, at a Paralympic Games for the first time, is amazing.

“If any kids with disabilities want to play badminton, it’s a great sport and I’d encourage them to pick up a racket.

“My performance and the performance of my teammates this week will hopefully inspire them to do that.

“I’ll definitely be going to Paris – I want to turn this silver into gold.

“To be on the podium will be such a proud moment and I’ll definitely be having a smile on my face.”