Darren Campbell from Fife has received a £1,500 OCS Young Sports Person Award in recognition of his outstanding sporting ability. In the awards scheme, run in partnership with the charity SportsAid, water polo player Darren beat stiff competition to scoop the prize for the Scotland region award.
17 year old Darren has been playing water polo for 11 years, with his twin brother Christopher and elder brother Alasdair, who has just completed a water polo scholarship in America. They were all influenced by their father, who used to play the sport as a goalkeeper and who now coaches. Darren is currently the captain of the Scotland Junior team and was recently voted the Young Scottish Water Polo Player of the Year by the National Association.
Amongst his best achievements to date he has represented GB in the European Junior Qualifying Championships and over a three year period with Dunfermline Water Polo Club, he won British cup Youth and junior gold medals in addition to a junior silver medal. He is now competing with his brothers at senior level, representing Caledonia in the British National League as they seek promotion, and is also a member of the current Scottish Senior squad.
Darren has to keep himself fit and strong as water polo is an extremely physical and demanding game, but he says the mental side is just as important. He coaches the younger players at his local club because he wants to give something back to the sport.
As a regional winner, Darren will join the winners from nine other UK regions, four national disability category winners and the Young Star category winner at a celebratory event on 24th November in the OCS Stand at the Kia Oval. On the day, OCS will announce one overall winner who will receive a further £8,500 worth of support over three years. Previous OCS Young Sports Person Award winners will attend the event alongside a host of top sporting stars such as Kate Howey MBE, Wayne Otto OBE, Beth Tweddle MBE and Rory Underwood MBE.
Chris Cracknell, chief executive of OCS said, “The OCS Young Sports Person Awards, now in its 14th year, highlights our commitment to supporting young people who are great role models, not only for their peers but for many others in business and the community. Their drive and relentless determination to achieve their goals is inspirational and our grass-roots scheme helps young athletes right at the start of their career when support and funding is needed most. Well done to the athletes who have been rewarded this year and we hope that they will have the same success as many of our past winners, some of whom look set to represent GB in London 2012.”