Darren Paskell

Darren Paskell Young Calibre

Darren Paskell, 26, was born in Northern Ireland but came to live in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, at the age of four.  Darren has experienced both mainstream and V.I schooling, attending the RNIB New College in Worcester, Sunshine House in Northwood and following in the steps of our greatest Olympian, Sir Steve Redgrave, Great Marlow School.

Although as a youngster he had some peripheral light perception, he is now completely blind. Living in a cul-de-sac he was able to play on his bike with his brother. However, if his sibling left his bike on the ground he would often tumble over. However, with his customary humour, he says these experiences have enabled him to perfect the art of falling beautifully. 

It was whilst he was at school in Worcester that he discovered the sport of blind shooting. He jokes it’s like Roman Gladiators in reverse: here the spectators have to be wary of the competitors. The shooter is directed by a special rifle sight that measures the level of light reflected from the target. The target ranges from matt black, through grey to the central white.  As the sight nears the lighter colours it emits a higher frequency of sound as a guide.  

He’s a keen follower of F1 Motor Racing and, as his Dad is a Fulham Supporter, can be found at Craven Cottage on the odd Saturday afternoon or at Adams Park watching Wycombe Wanderers.

Darren is studying for his BSc in Computer Science and is looking at business options to produce specialist assisted technology for the visually impaired. This has come in handy recently when he had to deliver his first best man’s speech. Having composed his masterpiece on his computer he then had to dig out his old Braille machine to transcribe his speech. It was a relief when the wedding party broke into a round of applause following all his hard work.  

He is a committed member of the River Church in Englefield Green, nr. Windsor, travelling to Asia with colleagues twice in 2011. In April he went to Hong Kong and China to support his church’s missionary work. On a prior trip to Hong Kong he travelled alone but admits he was delighted to be met on arrival by two rather young and attractive female greeters!

In May 2011 he flew to Kathmundu in Tibet staying in a family home.  He admits that unlike the UK where he finds his way round using pavement curbs, he would find it very difficult to manage Tibet’s basic paths and tracks. He discussed these issues with a local woman who had recently lost her sight. She said she was adjusting to her condition and its affects on her ability to travel with the help of family and friends.

Darren joined Calibre eight years ago on the suggestion of his history teacher while researching the 1840’s Irish potato famine.  We have a number of titles covering Irish history including Liam O’Flaherty’s Famine (Library no. 8439). Darren still enjoys listening to his books on his MP3 player with Harry Potter a firm favourite.