SPORTS AWARDS: Darrell continues to overcome adversity

Joanne Croskery, of sponsors JBE Electrical, presents Darrell Erwin with the Sportsperson/team with a disability award. INBT06-225AC
Joanne Croskery, of sponsors JBE Electrical, presents Darrell Erwin with the Sportsperson/team with a disability award. INBT06-225AC

Darrell Erwin’s dogged determination to overcome adversity saw him win the Sportsperson/Team with a Disability award for the sixth time in total and the third year in a row.

The handcycling ace’s season was once again disrupted by illness but he began training again in April.

After just nine days of training he was back in action and as he improved with every race, so did his times as he came within 19 seconds of his all-time personal best times.

One of Darrell’s most notable performances was fourth at the Irish national time trial championships, despite having to stop at least 10 times due to mechanical problems after a car pulled out in front of him, causing an emergency stop and damage to his bike.

“It’s just a case of never say die - I just keep going and never let anything stop me.

“I had nine months out and for seven of those, I was in bed for most of the time.

“I trained for nine days and felt healthy and strong and I just decided to go and race.

“I was surprised at how well it went because they were some of my best times.”

“Taking back the 25 miles title was the highlight - it’s always bad giving it away to someone else!

“The week before the guy beat me by 40 seconds over the same distance but I just got my head down and went for it.

“All I know how to do is just keep pushing myself.”

Darrell competed for just four months of the season but still recorded 14 time trial wins and one second place, while being pushed all the way by some of the sport’s up and coming young stars.

Also short-listed: Special Olympics Ballymena Bocce Club.