Darren Chapple praises Team England Futures for inspiring the next generation

·4-min read
Darren Chapple believes the trailblazing Team England Futures programme is inspiring the next generation of support staff ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games. (SIMON D.JONES)

Darren Chapple believes the trailblazing Team England Futures programme is inspiring the next generation of support staff ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Chapple, a boxing stalwart who has dedicated himself to the sport as a competitor, coach and official since 1979, will be Team England’s Boxing Team Leader at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and is also the Head of Performance and Talent for England Boxing.

Chapple featured on the latest episode of the SportsAid Vault Podcast, a series that provides listeners with unique insight ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games alongside special guests as Team England get set to impress on home soil.

The second series of the podcast, hosted by Tom Gayle, BBC sports presenter, commentator and reporter, is inspired by the Team England Futures programme, being delivered by SportsAid on behalf of Commonwealth Games England and Sport England and seeing over 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff attend Birmingham 2022.

The programme aims to give the next generation of athletes a first-hand look behind-the-scenes, experiencing a major Games in the flesh and better preparing them for future multi-sport competitions – as well as planning to help aspiring support staff understand what opportunities they could be presented with at a major Games and the challenges they may face.

And Chapple, who will be looking to repeat his previous success as Boxing Team Leader when he guided Team England to a record nine medals in the sport, says the programme is pivotal in laying the foundations for future sporting success.

Chapple, speaking alongside Team England Chef de Mission Mark England on the latest episode of the podcast - ‘Games Time’ - said: “I think it's important for the younger generation that we grab them while we can to show them what a multi-sport Games like the Commonwealths give.

"But more importantly, the message really would be that everybody might have something that is useful to the future of aspiring athletes.

"The bigger picture for me is those background people that do so much more that we never normally hear or see about.

"So we bring them into the environment to show what goes on, to tell them and explain to them, is there anything there that you feel that you can deliver against?

"And hopefully it inspires them into that piece of work and to be able to stay with it."

Chapple brings extensive experience as a team manager and has overseen the delivery of performance pathways, also chairing the England Boxing Team Managers’ Panel as well as being a member of the Great Britain Talent Commission.

He recently retired from 34 years of service in the Royal Air Force (RAF) having started out as an Aerial Erector aged 18.

During his service, he became a coach, judge, referee and manager of the RAF and combined service with his boxing exploits, with all his work being entirely voluntary.

Speaking on the SportsAid Vault Podcast, Chapple commented on his role in England Boxing and how important it is to cultivate a new generation of support staff.

He added: "You've got the opportunity where there's a younger generation core - of 18 to 24 year olds - who will hopefully stay with this for the next Games and the Games afterward.

"And the invaluable experience that they're going to get from these Games, walking the same lines that the athletes are taking, walking the same route that they're going to get for the Kitting Out, walking the very same pathway when they go into the Opening Ceremony. That is a story and a mapping that perhaps we need to look at because there's very few people who get that opportunity.

"That next generation is like a conveyor belt and we need to keep that conveyor belt going.

"That conveyor belt is the same with our support staff for the future. We need to keep it just ticking on all the time and keep reverting back to it and topping it up and moving forward.

"People will never normally come across this, but to be able to have that opportunity is something that is just vital for the future."

The SportsAid Vault Podcast is live and available to listen to now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Acast! You can find out more about Team England Futures by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.

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