Darren – pictured on the right modelling for artist Louise Giblin – will be endorsing RLSB’s Sports without Limits programme designed especially for visually impaired young people.
The 6’7” athlete began swimming at the age of 12 at Dorton House School in Kent and Sevenoaks Swimming Club, where he was trained by head coach Dennis Parker. Darren later joined Dorton House College, where he studied for a GNVQ in Leisure and Tourism.
Darren competed in his first international competition in 1997, when he entered the European Championships and won three bronze medals. A year later the swimmer achieved success at the World Championships by winning three gold and two silver medals.
He continued to gain similar success at the 1999 and 2001 European Championships – during the latter he become the first disability swimmer in Great Britain to swim under 26 seconds for the 50m Free Style. He says this was the highlight of his career.
He went to the Sydney Paralympics in 2000, where he competed in five races and picked up two silver and two bronze medals. Two years later, he won three golds, two silvers, a fourth and a fifth place at the Commonwealth Games, and became England’s number one multi-disability swimmer.
Darren retired from competitive swimming in 2005. He is now head coach at Tonbridge Swimming Club. In 2011, artist Louise Giblin used Darren as one of the models for a series of sculptures portraying Olympians.
Earlier this year, Paralympic Judo bronze medallist Ben Quilter also became an ambassador of RLSB.