Graystone Action Sports centre

A group of GB Athletes will be among the skateboarders taking part in Coping, a charity competition at Graystone Action Sports centre this Saturday.

The skating stars will be joined by a host of other high-profile sporting figures including Darren Roberts, an elite coach who works with both Olympians and Red Bull athletes.

The competition will have a prize purse of £1,000 and will be accompanied by music from Mr Scruff and other local DJs. The event will also include a charity auction featuring prints, artwork and photography from local artists.

Image credit: Wil from future savings, permission obtained

However, the core focus of the event is mental health. Alongside the music and skating, there will be workshops on mindfulness as well as talks from GPs and charity leaders who set up their organisations after losing friends and relatives to suicide.

Coping, which takes place on 25th September, is designed to smash taboos around issues such as anxiety and depression. Graystone Action Sports centre founder Wil Hesketh believes that skating, whose popularity has never been higher thanks to the success of teenage Olympic hero Sky Brown, offers the ideal platform to discuss these key issues.

“The struggles of Paul Alexander, a promising young skater whose career was completely thrown off-course by his own mental illness, and the tragedy of Ben Raemers and Chris Barrett sparked the idea for this event.

Image credit: Wil from future savings, permission obtained

“I’m always amazed at what people can do when they come together and share their skills, so I set about persuading friends to get involved and to get their friends involved – it’s incredible the rate at which things have started to grow and I’m constantly humbled by the generosity and dedication from those who hear about what we’re doing.

“Mental health is a major problem for the wider community, not just for skaters. One in four people experience a mental health problem in England every year, and Covid has only increased these pressures.

“With Coping, we want to help create a global conversation and treat our mental health with the care and attention it deserves. We want to create a safe environment for all walks of life to discuss what they are coping with, how they cope and also ask why we cope with social pressures and even play a part in those stories.”

To attend Coping and find out more, visit

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