If you have kids, there’s a good chance you know this name: Darren Robbins. Darren is a doctorate level physical therapist with Prowers Medical Center. He’s also a well-known volunteer in our community. Recently, he was named the top volunteer in the Lamar Ledger’s People’s Choice awards for 2017.
“I was really surprised I was selected because there are tons of people who do a lot of volunteering in town. Most of my volunteering revolves around my kids’ sports,” said Darren.
Yet as you talk with him further, it’s obvious that his volunteer efforts go well beyond coaching his kids’ teams. It’s true, Darren is a common face in youth sports, having coached youth basketball, volleyball, soccer, and softball through the years. He often coaches one of his kids’ teams and with five kids, ages 2 – 12, he stays busy, and stays at the top of the league’s list to call for coaching.
Yet you can also find Darren on the sidelines at high school football games and in the stands at high school and college volleyball and basketball games. He volunteers as a Certified Athletic Trainer and is there to help assess injuries, prevent injuries and teach kids strength training strategies.
“My wife Amber and I are big sports fans so we attend a lot of different games. I often get pulled out of the stands to help when someone gets hurt. I’m known as a PT in town, so it’s easy for me to volunteer in those ways out in the community,” Darren said.
One time at a Lamar Community College basketball game, Darren was asked to help an opposing team member who dislocated a finger. He was happy to help—that is until the young man went back in and scored 20 points and defeated the local team! “Our local coach wasn’t too happy with me,” said Robbins. Another time he was at a local gym with his kids during a gymnastics performance and a young girl fell and dislocated her knee cap. Without Darren’s help to put it back in place, she would’ve likely had an emergency room visit.
“The parents said they didn’t know what they would have done without me, but it was simple to fix and I was happy to do it. Volunteering is an extension of my job out in the community,” he said.
Darren enjoys all kinds of sports. He believes sports provide the opportunity for kids to succeed and it gives them something constructive to do.
“There’s a sports chant that runs before the high school games about how sports are justified because they teach kids mini life lessons. Sports teach kids how to work hard, how to fail, and about sacrifice and teamwork. I really agree with that,” he said.
Darren also volunteers with hospice patients. Sometimes, he helps weakened patients learn to get in and out of bed safely, or he provides simple exercises to keep them as active as they can be. He also works with hospice staff, showing them how to correctly transfer a patient so they don’t get injured.
Darren and Amber met in college at Brigham Young University in Utah. She was born and raised in Lamar and wanted to return home, so that’s how the couple came to settle here. Prowers Medical Center gave Darren a good offer and helped him continue with his schooling. Now, they are well known in town with lots of kids of all ages in and out of their house at all times, and showing up for impromptu dodgeball games at the church on the weekends. It’s definitely home for the couple and their kids, Abby, Brooklyn, Jace, Tank and Izzy.
“I didn’t earn this award on my own. I don’t fly solo. There are a lot of people that deserve credit including assistant coaches, league directors, the rec department, and also my wife and my workplace for supporting me,” Darren concluded.
To learn more about Darren, and the physical therapy and rehab services offered at Prowers Medical Center, visit the hospital’s website at prowersmedical.com or call (719) 336-6728.