​​Introducing TeamPolice’s Newest Ambassador: Dylan Darby

Meet Dylan, a 33-year-old officer serving with West Mercia Police, whose journey exemplifies the ethos of TeamPolice. With a background rooted in community policing, Dylan’s commitment to service extends beyond the streets of South Shropshire. He is deeply passionate about sports, viewing it not only as a personal pursuit but also as a vehicle for inspiring others to overcome challenges.

Originally from West Midlands Police, Dylan’s career trajectory took a significant turn when he transitioned to rural policing, marking a shift from bustling city life to the serene landscapes of South Shropshire. Despite the change in scenery, his dedication to his role as a police officer remained unwavering.

For Dylan, becoming a TeamPolice ambassador is more than just a title; it’s a testament to his resilience in the face of adversity. In 2022, while participating in obstacle course racing, he suffered a severe knee injury that resulted in irreparable nerve damage, leaving him with limited sensation and function in his left leg. However, rather than letting this setback define him, Dylan persisted in pursuing his passion for sports, advocating for sports recovery and wellbeing, Dylan’s experience underscores the transformative power of athleticism and determination.

In his own words, Dylan reflects on his journey:

“Hello, my name is Dylan, and I’m 33 years old. I serve as a police officer for West Mercia Police and am also deeply passionate about sports. Last year, I made the transition from West Midlands Police after spending 7 years working in Birmingham with a neighbourhood team. Currently, I’m assigned to response duty, covering South Shropshire, a significant shift from city to rural policing.

Becoming a Team Police ambassador is an immense source of pride for me. It signifies overcoming the obstacles of the past two years and serves as inspiration for others facing similar challenges. I aim to show that life doesn’t halt with permanent injury and that staying active is paramount. Through my journey, I hope to inspire individuals to persevere and discover the transformative power of sports recovery, or as we say at TeamPolice – ‘wellbeing through sport’.

In my spare time, I’ve always been involved in sports. Previously, I dedicated years of training to CrossFit and competed in various competitions. Then in 2022, I ventured into obstacle course racing, drawn by the transferable skills and strength gained from CrossFit. I found myself deeply immersed and quickly signed up for over 10 events that year.

However, during one of these races, I suffered an injury. While navigating an 8-foot muddy wall, I slipped and landed awkwardly, resulting in a knee injury. Despite the discomfort, I pushed through to finish the race. Little did I know, the injury was severe, leading to irreparable damage to my perineal nerve. As a result, I’ve lost all sensation and function in my left leg from below the knee.

Despite this, I refused to let it hinder my passion for sports. I continued participating in obstacle racing, albeit with significant challenges. While the NHS provided a rigid orthotic for walking, it didn’t facilitate running or provide the necessary knee support. With great effort, I managed to acquire the ‘Turbo Med’ orthotic, enabling me to run, albeit with considerable pain due to the lack of knee support.

In October 2023, I embraced a new challenge by competing in my first-ever competitive OCR, where I secured third place in the British championships para division. Subsequently, in November, I participated in the British short course championships, securing another third place, despite my broken Turbo-Med orthotic. These achievements earned me a spot on Team UK’s para section, representing the nation at the European Championships in Italy and the World Championships in Costa Rica in 2024.

In pursuit of enhancing my performance and mobility, I’ve sought assistance from ‘Proactive Prosthetics.’ They’ve identified an orthotic tailored to my sport and ambitions. However, to acquire it, I’m in need of sponsorship and funding, as I’m short of the total cost. This orthotic isn’t just crucial for sports; it would significantly improve my daily life and work on the front line. As a police officer, I’m passionate about serving, but my current orthotic’s limitations threaten my ability to remain active in the field.

Moreover, I’ve recently delved into wheelchair rugby, representing the UK police team in an exhibition game in February. Returning to competitive sports has reignited my fitness journey and passion for life.

Ultimately, I aspire to look back one day as a medal-winning international OCR athlete and a frontline Police Officer, demonstrating that with determination, anything is achievable. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.”

A New Chapter:

Now, Dylan embarks on a new chapter as a TeamPolice ambassador, representing the organisation’s mission of promoting wellbeing through sport. His story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for individuals facing similar challenges, demonstrating that resilience and determination can overcome even the most formidable obstacles.

Looking Ahead:

As Dylan continues his journey, he seeks to enhance his performance and mobility with a tailored orthotic from ‘Proactive Prosthetics.’ However, acquiring this essential equipment requires funding, highlighting the ongoing challenges he faces. Nevertheless, Dylan remains undeterred in his pursuit of excellence, both on the field and in his role as a dedicated police officer. If interested in supporting Dylan, please contact TeamPolice in the first instance and we’ll put you in touch.

Join Dylan and TeamPolice:

As we welcome Dylan to the TeamPolice family, we invite you to join us in supporting his journey and the organisation’s mission of promoting wellbeing through sport within policing. Together, we can inspire others to overcome adversity and embrace the transformative power of sports recovery.

About TeamPolice

TeamPolice is an initiative that raises much-needed funds for Police Sport UK through an innovative sponsorship scheme, promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of police officers and staff through participation in sports and physical activities. By harnessing the power of sport, TeamPolice aims to improve fitness levels, boost morale, and foster a sense of camaraderie within the policing community. Through partnerships, sponsorship, and initiatives, TeamPolice generates crucial funds, and increases delivery capacity and positive outcomes in Police wellbeing through sport, ensuring that police officers and staff have the tools they need to lead healthy and active lifestyles both on and off duty.

TeamPolice is proud to introduce our esteemed ambassadors, a remarkable group of individuals whose dedication, resilience, and passion for sports, wellbeing and community inspire us.

Meet the shining stars of TeamPolice:

🏉 Rochelle (Rocky) Clark MBE – Rochelle (Rocky) Clark MBE

A true legend in English rugby and force to be reckoned with on the rugby field! Representing Saracens and donning the English jersey at four Women’s Rugby World Cup tournaments, Rocky is a true legend. With a remarkable 50 caps earned at the 2010 World Cup, she became England’s second most-capped player. As a World Champion in 2014, Level 4 Coach, Pundit, Commentator, and Public Speaker, Rocky is a beacon of inspiration and skill.

🎯Issy Bailey – Issy Bailey

A shining example of determination and courage. From overcoming life-changing adversity to becoming a Paralympic Shooter, Issy’s journey is nothing short of incredible. After a serious car accident in 2013 that left her paralyzed, she found solace in shooting and joined the GB squad in 2014. Having competed in both Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Issy is now in training for Paris 2024, showcasing unparalleled determination and resilience.

🏅 Kerry Snuggs BEM – Kerry Snuggs BEM

Kerry’s commitment to serving her community is unwavering. Founder of the Intrepid Games and Acts of Kindness Community (Solent) charity, Kerry is a true hero. With 21 years dedicated to the Police force, she founded the Intrepid Games in 2023, a National Sporting event for those injured on duty or disabled within the Emergency Services. Kerry’s commitment to service, both as a special constable and a regular officer, and her own personal experience of injury in 2012, exemplify the very best of the public service.

🏆 Gary Callier – Gary Callier

Founder of Police UK Disability Sport CIC, Gary is a powerhouse of determination and a true hero in every sense. A former Royal Engineer in the British Army and a serving Police Officer, he’s not only an Invictus Games Competitor but a medal-winning one! With an impressive performance in The Hague 2022 and Dusseldorf 2023, including 3 Gold, 3 Silver, and 1 Bronze, Gary is a driving force behind promoting accessibility and excellence in sports for all.

TeamPolice is honored to have these exceptional individuals on board, representing and championing our mission of ‘wellbeing through sport’ for the Policing Family strength. You can expect to see our ambassadors at some of our events through the year. Join us in celebrating their achievements and inspiring stories!

Intrepid Gameshttp://www.intrepidgames.org

Police UK Disability Sport CIC – https://www.policeukdisabilitysportcic.co.uk/