Duncan Campbell was a Royal Marine recruit when he sustained a brain injury playing for Cobham RFC in 2009 and was medically discharged before completing training.
Having been tremendously fit, his life became sedentary, and his world shrank. Now, a dozen years later, thanks to the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF). he has found a new sport which has changed his life.
“The charity held a golf day, and I went along not expecting to get much out of it, but it’s been amazing,” said Duncan who was at Twickenham in the IPF hospitality box to see England take on New Zealand.
Although he has to play one-handed, he has achieved a golf handicap.
“I love playing golf and the IPF have funded all my equipment,” said Darren. “I’m so much happier and healthier now, I’ve lost a stone and a half in weight and I’m out on the course or at the driving range all the time.”
Golf Has Changed His Life
Said Michelle, Duncan’s wife; “Golf has really changed Duncan’s life. He used to sit in front of the TV all day but now he’s out playing golf. Thanks to the IPF he did that first session and really got the bug, then they funded everything he needed to pursue what’s practically become an obsession.
“He’s so much better now and goes out playing almost every day come rain or shine. The benefits have been amazing both mentally and physically.”
Catching Up With Darren
Chatting to Duncan at Twickenham was Darren Hackleton, who was serving in the Navy in 1986. Having docked in Singapore, he was playing No 8 for his ship HMS Beaver when his neck was broken and, after 10 days in hospital, was airlifted home by the RAF. He spent time at the former Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court.
Darren has since completed a degree in Operational Research, which combines maths, computing and business at the University of Warwick.
“The IPF are always there for those of us who are seriously injured in the game and they have been great in funding my wheelchairs and adapting my home in Coventry,” said Darren.
“It’s also really great to spend time with others at an international match at Twickenham. It keeps you in touch with the game and with players who have the same challenges as you do, as well as being a chance to get together and watch a great game of rugby.”
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