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Darren Hughes

Darren Hughes

World Champion and Burns Survivor

Darren started boxing at the age of 11 and became ABA champion by the age of 13, going on to become the British, European and World kickboxing and karate champion. What the majority of people don't know, is that as a toddler, he suffered third degree burns to over 50% of his body and was hospitalised for a long period of time, nearly losing his life on many occasions. As a result of his injuries, as a small boy, he was unable to stand up straight due to the skin being tight across his chest and arms, and he was in and out of hospital until he was 21 years old.

Darren had skin graft procedures for over 13 years, which involved over 15 operations. He was bullied at school as he looked different to everyone else, which he had to deal with himself as he had zero support from his school. Sport gave him an outlet, it gave him the chance to prove that he could drive himself forward to becoming faster and stronger than everyone else, and martial arts and boxing allowed him to release his aggression in a controlled environment. Throughout his childhood and into young adulthood the hospital consultants advised him no to do any physical activities at all, but he ignored this and proved them all wrong.

He is now used in conferences all over the UK, as an example to all other burn survivors, by the very same consultants who advised him against his physical activities. They use Darren as an example to show that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and work hard. He is unique in his field, a true inspiration to others. He has overcome every obstacle in his life with positive thinking and self belief. Darren believes quite simply, you should never give up, you should always strive to achieve - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Testimonials from Teachers

"Darren's speech was much more than a motivational seminar. It was an inspirational and energising session that provided us with an insight into his incredible story."

– Bill Jackson, Head of Department, Solihull College

"We sure picked a winner! Thank you for making our session a great success. We can't wait to recommend you to other schools, colleges and universities"

– Norman Lloyd, Deputy Head, Culey Green Secondary School

"Thank you so much for the absolutely fantastic contribution you made at our awards ceremony. Your speech will give me more courage and energy as i go forward in my career."

– David Dunkley Headteacher, Keepers Lodge Junior School​

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