Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cancer Battle Couldn't Halt Dr Danny's Success

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cancer Battle Couldn't Halt Dr Danny's Success

Article excerpt

Byline: ELAINE BLACKBURNE @TeessideLive

DETERMINATION won out as a Teesside lecturer completed his doctorate - despite spending a year fighting cancer during his PhD research.

Dr Danny Douglass is celebrating after reaching the finishing line of his studies into alternative sports.

The sport and exercise lecturer in the Teesside University's School of Health & Life Sciences spent nine years completing his doctorate, which included time spent undergoing treatment for testicular cancer.

Now he's determined to help raise awareness of the disease.

Dr Douglass, 32, said of his doctorate: "The whole thing took nine years to complete, which includes the year I was having cancer treatment and then the six months catching up when I returned.

"Raising awareness of testicular cancer is definitely a key concern of mine, as many of my friends and, worryingly, many of the students I have taught barely consider it. The age for risk is 17 to 34, which aligns with the majority of the student population."

Dr Douglass, from Billingham, said: "I chose Teesside initially for my undergraduate degree in sport and exercise coaching science because of the variety and flexibility within the course structure which allowed me to discover multiple aspects of sport science, while enabling me to tailor my studies to my own interests.

"After my degree, I continued to study at Teesside University for my Masters and PhD mainly because of my supervisors and the potential they saw within my work within skateboarding. Although popular, alternative sports don't receive a lot of academic focus. However, the academic staff at Teesside could see the potential."

His PhD investigated the effect of potential personal threat or severe injury within skill acquisition. His findings provided evidence which suggests high-risk athletes view their learning very differently to the mainstream.

Dr Douglass said: "It involved an initial study exploring the thought process of athletes from various high and low risk sports during performance. …

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