'I'm not doing it for me anymore' - Paralympic athlete Aled Siôn Davies on his motivation boost since becoming a father

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Aled Siôn Davies with his daughter Pheobe. Credit: Aled Siôn Davies

Aled Siôn Davies is one of Wales' most successful athletes of all time.

He has won three Paralympic medals, seven World Para-athlete championships and a host of other titles. At this year's Paralympic Games in Tokyo, the 29-year-old was looking to defend his F42 Shot put title, but like so many other sporting events, the Games have been postponed to 2021.

Aled Sion Davies winning gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics Credit: PA IMAGES

Away from the field Davies has talked openly about his struggles with depression and the motivation it takes to be the World number one. But one thing that has changed in the Welshman's life has been becoming a Dad. He and fiancee Isabelle Bateman welcomed their first child, Phoebe, in September 2019. 

The Great Britain and Wales star sat down with ITV Wales Sports reporter Beth Fisher to talk about life as a dad.

"Yes I have lost motivation, I did, I'll be the first one to admit that, it's tough. You know once you've won the Gold, it's like alright now I've somehow got to get another four year plan in and we do it again but I think I'm in the position where I have a great family now. I'm not doing it for me anymore, I'm doing it for my family. It's exciting because I can show my daughter what the possibilities are" says Davies. "When I was up on that podium and had her on my arm, that was better than any medal. I remember seeing Mo Farah do it with his family, Dave Weir did it with his family and I thought do you know what it was amazing that moment. I've been in a lucky position where I have travelled the world and I've done all these amazing things but I've had no one to share it with and now I've got two incredible people in my life who I get to do it for. And that's the main thing, it's my motivation. I want to see how many medals I can put round her neck before she falls on her bum!"

In his interview he also explains how everything has been put into perspective since becoming a father.

Aled Siôn Davies says his little girl Phoebe has put everything into perspective. Credit: Aled Siôn Davies

"Isabelle is such an incredible mother and it's great that everything works so I can continue my training and with lockdown it's been such a strange adjustment for us. It is tough. I think the first six months were kind of a blur, you're kind of finding your feet and it's all a learning curve. Everyone has their own routine and I think that's what we're kind of getting into now. She is only ten months old, so we're still learning. I couldn't have asked for a better start at the moment, to be honest. I've been very lucky to have a great family around that's allowed me to fit being a Dad in but at the same time the psychological benefits have been unreal, it's put everything into perspective."

"I want to show her everything, I really do. I want to lead by example as well. I don't want her to think she has a ceiling, I want her to set her sights on whatever she wants and I'll help her along the way because that's what I've done. I always told people I was going to be a professional athlete and back in 2004 that was unheard of as a para-athlete, so we've come a long, long way."

The para-athlete is still hoping for a gold in the Tokyo Games in 2021 and says the postponement has given him the additional training time he needs to prepare. "This extra year coming along now is giving me the time I need - what a blessing in disguise. I think if we can all come out of this crazy time in life healthy and everyone else healthy around us and with training is slowly getting back to how it used to be. If I can continue doing everything possible, leave no stone unturned and go out there and just do the best I can. Obviously I go out there to win, every athlete does and if they say they don't they are lying. You know you go in there for the best possible outcome. But for me, if I can go in there and do the best that I can and do these guys proud then that's all that matters to me."