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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
High Performance Coach
Darren has been the Lead Coach for Lightweight Men since October 2009.
Under his guidance, GB lightweight crews have won some exceptional gold medals.
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Darren has coached the lightweight men’s double scull throughout the Rio Olympiad. Different crew combinations have produced consistently good results: most recently in 2015, Will Fletcher and Richard Chambers took silver at the European Rowing Championships, second World Cup, and finally at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette. Though disappointed not to reach the A final in Rio, Will and Richard put in a solid performance to finish 7th overall.
Coached by Darren, the remarkable duo of Mark Hunter and Zak Purchase enjoyed some outstanding results in the run up to the London Olympic Games. Having won GB’s first ever lightweight Olympic medal at Beijing, they went on to take gold at both the 2010 and 2011 World Championships. Although disappointed not to win gold at the London 2012 Olympics, the double took home a creditable silver from a very respectable performance.
Darren first showed his potential as a coach at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Hazewinkel in 1997, where he coached the junior men’s double scull of Matthew Wells and James Di Luzio to an exceptional gold medal. Darren never rowed himself but saw plenty of others who ‘got the rowing bug’ as a boy at Windsor Boys School.
Darren joined the Police on leaving school and his work there included being a fitness instructor. His involvement with the Junior International scene led him to become a professional coach at the University of London Boat Club in 1997 and in 1999 he moved to work with the GB Rowing Team as High Performance Coach for Under-23s. In his first season the Under-23 team achieved major success by winning 4 gold medals at the World Under-23 Regatta in Copenhagen, and this was followed by a silver and bronze the following year in Ottensheim.
Darren continued to coach Matthew Wells at University of London and coached him to his senior successes, which included a world Under-23 Bronze in 1999 and a Gold in 2000, as well as an impressive 9th place at the Sydney Olympics.