Golden moment for Nissan in Keighley
Colin Appleyard Nissan enjoyed a golden moment on Friday evening, as we were joined by Olympic gold medalist, Darren Campbell.
Speaking about his career in athletics and answering questions from audience members, it was a wonderful spin-off of our annual Motorcycle Evening With.
With the recent news that five times grand slam winner, Maria Sharapova, had failed a drug test during the Australian Open, it was no surprise that Sky News arrived at our dealership to get the thoughts and opinions from Darren.
He was stripped of his relay gold medal at the 2002 European Championship and his silver medal at the 2003 World Championship, when his teammate Dwayne Chambers was tested positive for a banned, performance-enhancing substance.
Darren stated in the interview that "all the onus is on the athlete, it's up to you to know exactly what you're putting in your body, and also know when the rules have changed".
With the live Sky News interview out of the way, Darren made his way into our Nissan showroom to greet his audience for the evening. Before taking to the mic, he tried out the wheelchair simulator provided by Nissan in partnership with the British Paralympic Association. The 200m simulator is far harder than it appears, and even Darren failed to beat our resident valetor, Dave Salmon.
After recovering from the simulator, Darren took to the stage after being introduced by our very own Jack Appleyard. Speaking about his early days in Moss Side, Manchester, Darren recalled how he had to make a drastic change in his life. He decided to follow his heart and train hard to achieve his dream of competing in the Olympics. He spoke about his years of competing, and how making mistakes was important as it focused him on trying harder, to get to where he wanted to be.
Darren brought out his silver and gold medals, which he kindly passed around the crowd. Looking a little worn, it was obvious that they had seen many admirers - but Darren confessed, though proud of his achievements, he doesn't keep them in any special place.
A father of three, Darren is a big believer in doing his best at everything he puts his mind to, and currently one of those is being a good dad. This has filtered down into the work Darren now does with children of all ages, after his retirement from competition in 2006. In July 2007, he was announced as the new ambassador for Sky Sports Living for Sport, a successful initiative run by the Youth Sport Trust in conjunction with BSkyB, which uses sport as a tool to re-engage young people who may be at risk of opting out of school life.
Also joining Darren on the stage, later in the evening, was local athlete Rhea Southcott. At just 14 years old, Rhea has already been chosen for the England squad, and competes in the Pentathlon. Watch out Jessica Ennis!
The evening was finished off with a raffle and auction, of which all the proceeds went to the British Paralympic Association. Darren kindly stayed behind for photos with basically everyone in attendance, which a true indication of the man.
He was inspiring, interesting, welcoming and left a lasting impression on everyone in attendance. Thank you to everyone who attended, we hope you enjoyed your evening - we certainly did, and of course a massive thanks to Darren.