Legendary DJ Mr Scruff is joining the skateboard community for a brand-new event in Salford, designed to remove the stigma around wellbeing in extreme sports.
Coping, which takes place at Graystone Action Sports skate park on September 28, comes after a string of recent tragedies highlighting the culture of silence which still blights skateboarding and other adrenaline-fuelled pursuits.
The event will witness creative workshops, family auctions and a competition for some of the UK’s most talented skaters, which will be soundtracked by skater DJ collective Ultimate Choice. Mental health sufferers will be invited to share their stories and experienced professionals will hold expert wellbeing sessions for those present.
Event organiser Wil Hesketh, from south Manchester, said: “A friend recently showed me the film Mind the Gap, about skater Paul Alexander’s battle with paranoia, as I was preparing to teach yoga and meditation to skateboarders for the first time.
“I was captivated by the film and loved how it made a step towards normalising discussions about mental health problems in a sport which is not always renowned for its sensitivity. Inspired by the film and pleasantly surprised not to be laughed out of town for trying to persuade skaters to practice yoga, the seeds of this event started to form.”
Discussing his performance at the event, Mr Scruff said “I can’t even stand up on a skateboard, but my daughter skated for a while and I was inspired by the community spirit that happens when a wide range of people bond over a common interest.
“Events like these can help to nurture the compassionate side of the sport. Wil has stood up for something that he holds very dear, and has my full support.”
The event will take place between 10am and 2pm. Further information is available via the Coping Facebook page here.