Former soldier Derek Derenalagi turned to sport after he was injured. Now competing as a Paralympian, Derek has made quite the name for himself in the sporting world. His drive and commitment to Paralympic sport is commendable and continues to place him as a firm favourite amongst the public.
Derek had quite a different career before sport, joining the British Army in 1999. It was in 2007 that his life was changed forever. Derek was in Afghanistan on a tour of duty in Helmand Province, when the vehicle he was travelling in was struck by an improvised explosive device. Derek was actually pronounced dead by medics, however they later found that he still had a weak pulse and he fortunately pulled through. The explosive had a significant effect on Derek’s life, leaving him with the life-changing injury of having both legs amputated.
Only five years after his injuries, Derek now holds a career as a Paralympian competing in discus throwing. He is part of the Ministry of Defence Battle Back programme, a scheme which is funded by the charity Help For Heroes. Whilst part of the programme Derek took part in a training camp, situated at the United States Olympic Training Centre. Now, Derek competes in the category of F57, a category for Paralympians for people who have spinal cord injuries or amputations.
Derek has won a number of medals competing in discus. In 2012 he competed at the IPC Athletics European Championships, winning the gold medal in F57/58 discus. In 2012 Derek was selected to compete for Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympic Games as part of the Athletics squad. Competing in the F57/58 discus event, he was the first Fijian selected to represent Great Britain in the Paralympics.
Derek is an important individual to the charity Help For Heroes, being pivotal to its creation. The founders of the charity, Emma and Bryn Parry, visited Derek when he was recovering from his injuries in hospital. The founders were both impressed and moved by the amount of courage and dignity that Derek remained to have after such a life-changing event.
Focusing on overcoming adversity and maximising success, Derek is now a favourite within the after-dinner speaking circuit. He uses his personal experiences and hardships in life to inspire and motivate those around him.
To book lance Corporal Derek Derenalagi as the after dinner speaker for your corporate event, conference or function simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below.
When at corporate events, Derek is known to cover the following topics:
- Olympic Speaker
- Overcoming Adversity
- Achieving Goals
- Inspirational Speaker
- Teamwork & Motivation
- Drive & Determination
- Peak Performance