Darrel Sparke’s Story
Meet Darrel, a 44 years old amputee, IT Professional, Taekwondo Instructor and family man. He has been an amputee for 39 years after losing his lower right leg in a machinery accident when he was just 5 years old. Darrel works at an energy utility in Newcastle and leads an active life with his family, playing sport, and developing new challenges for himself.
Growing up in a small farming community surrounded by great family support, Darrel was just like any other boy, constantly on the go, with hobbies such as motor bike riding, BMX, tennis, hockey, hiking and anything that involved an adventure.
In 1989, when Darrel left the farm to attend University in Newcastle, he discovered Taekwondo. He progressed and competed side by side and against able bodied students as an equal, eventually completing university studies graduating with a Bachelors of Computer Science and a 1st degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. In 2011 Darrel successfully achieved the internationally recognised rank of 4th Dan Black Belt and is now the Head Coach of the university club he started in.
Darrel was introduced to the Unity® Vacuum System in 2014 and now can train for hours, be on his feet all day at work, chase his kids around the park or go for a 5km jog with his wife and be confident that the system will keep up with him.
“The challenges of my active lifestyle and indeed the pressure I place on my leg is significant. I have had many legs and tried many sockets and suspension systems. The Unity system with a Seal-In V liner and paired to the Re-Flex Shock. I am unstoppable! It gives me confidence, performance and a comfort I never had before.”
With the world still 25 years behind him, Darrel now turned his attention to expanding the competition inclusion for amputees and developing the sport of Para Taekwondo here in Australia.
“I have a passion for developing sport, its administration and helping others discover sport.”