Skateboard Great Britain Team Manager, Darren Pearcy, joins the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Darren has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.
Darren has been involved with skateboarding in the UK for over 20 years and was appointed Team Manager for Skateboard Great Britain in 2019.
The mental health and well-being of skateboarders is a priority at Skateboard GB. We know many skateboarders are living with mental health challenges. We want to do everything we can to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and support both the skateboard community and young adults across the UK.
Skateboarding can reduce stress, increase confidence and provide escapism. It is proven to improve mental health, foster community and encourage diversity and resilience.
The British Inspiration Trust's vision resonates with me both personally and professionally; uniting Paralympians, Olympians and sports personalities to deliver inspiration, encouragement and support to the millions of students at universities and colleges throughout the UK is a fantastic concept.
I am stoked to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family. I look forward to encouraging other skateboarders to join me in support of young adult mental health awareness throughout the UK.
With many charities struggling to fundraise during the COVID-19 pandemic, It's great to see that BRIT has partnered with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust. This means that all donations raised by the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between five mental health charities that support students and young adults. I'm also happy to see that BRIT is signposting and promoting Samaritans and Shout.
All that universities and colleges need to do is embrace the challenge, enter a team and champion the opportunity to participate. Teams can be a whole university, students' union, campus, department or even a sports team; the idea is to encourage as many students and staff to take part as possible. I hope that skateboarders at universities and colleges throughout the UK will join in and add their distances to their team's 2,021-mile target.
I look forward to encouraging and supporting students at The Ecclesbourne School if they decide to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge and also helping to grow the BRIT Ambassador family with our Skateboard GB skateboarders".
Darren was born and raised in York, then moved to Derbyshire with his family at the age of twelve. He was educated at The Ecclesbourne School in Duffield and discovered skateboarding in Belper just outside of Derby.
Regular visits to Derby Storm skatepark, The House skatepark in Sheffield and Rollersnakes skate shop introduced Darren to the broader UK skateboard community.
Darren was a fixture at UK skateboarding events in the early and mid-2000s. The events made Darren feel like he was part of something bigger; a countrywide community and family. He'd never experienced anything like that before starting skateboarding; it gave him a sense of purpose and belonging. The vibe at those events was infectious. Darren wanted to be around it as much as possible; riding his skateboard and hanging out with skateboarders from across the county was his priority.
In 2007, Darren went on to work at Rollersnakes and was involved in nearly every aspect of the organisation over his twelve years there. One of the longest-running skate shops in the country, Rollersnakes has made an enormous contribution to UK skateboarding during its thirty-five years in business. Events competitions, signings, teams, sponsorship and trips. Rollersnakes has done it all.
The main aspects of Darren's work at Rollersnakes that contribute to his current role were that of Skateboard Team Manager of Rollersnakes, Unabomber and Heathen for almost ten years, then his five-year appointment as Marketing Manager. Those two roles enabled Darren to support some of the finest UK skateboarders whilst also working closely with distributors, brands and media on various projects.
The skateboarders at the events Darren attended when he was younger inspired confidence in one another, regardless of ability or background. At Skateboard GB, they ensure those values and skateboarding's integrity is always at the forefront of everything they do. A big part of their role involves collaborating with people and organisations with limited knowledge of skateboarding's history or experience of its culture. Sharing their expertise, understanding and passion for skateboarding is really important.
In addition to managing the Skateboard GB team, Darren's responsibilities include games time planning with the British Olympic Association (Team GB); exploring ways in which they can support both the Skateboard GB team and UK skateboarding as a whole with UK Sport; physical and mental health support with the English Institute of Sport; competition strategy and planning, marketing and PR.
At the core of Skateboarding GB's strategy is the planning and effective delivery of their UK Sport Aspiration Fund by supporting all Skateboard GB Team activities and ensuring their skateboarders have the best opportunity to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
For more information about Darren, please check out his interview with Ben Powell at Slam City Skates London.
For more information about Skateboard GB, please visit their website.