Darren Stevens
You might not be an SA champ or compete in a Diamond League, but read this and learn how important you can be to someone else. If you are just the best in your school or you only have provincial colours, remember that there is always someone looking up to you. That person watches and observes your every move and how you act when winning, or most importantly how you act when losing will determine what athlete that person turns into!
Darren Stevens:
“It all happened 3 years ago when I saw a boy with a Western Province jacket on and I asked him where do you buy it. He told me that you have to achieve the jacket by doing athletics and running for the school. I then started to train with this boy who was also the top runner in the school and specialized in the 5000m and 3000m. We trained every morning together, at least I tried to keep up with him.

The same year 2012 during the school athletics I tried out the 400m and 800m breaking both school records running a 51.50 in the 400m and a 1.58.40 in the 800m. I ended up at the Western Province Championship where I got 4th in the finals for both my events . I didn’t make the team but also didn’t give up. The following year 2013 when I was in grade 11 I kept on training and running hard. With the support of my parents I kept pushing and pushing trying to improve my times. What also pushed me to do better was competing against top athletes in the province and seeing them be successful made me also want to be successful.

As the year went on I became stronger and fitter and also running club events where my times improved from 51.5 to 50.3 in the 400m and from a 1.58.40 to a 1.54.90 where I qualified to run in the South African Championship in Pretoria and ended up in the finals. I then also qualified for the senior South African champs where I was eliminated in the heats but ran a personal best of 1.54.4 and that’s where my season ended. The new year 2014 where I was much more stronger¬† and experienced¬† in the 800m which I focused more on. Competition became more tough and the times became faster.
The beginning of the year I ran a 49.60 for the 400m and my 800m time remained the same I had much more confidence going into the schools competition where I won all my races up to the Western Cape Championship. I qualified to run at the South African schools championship where I ended 4th in finals. The same year I qualified for the South African clubs championship in stellenbosch running against the top athletes in the province in that event. I ended up 3rd in the finals running a personal best of 1.51.60 where the winning time was 1.50.33. It gave me alot of confidence to take up my event further . Our current year 2015 I am feeling alot stronger and looking forward for the next championship. With the the support of my family and friends and by the grace of god everything is possible.”

Photo by Denver Stevens