Ryan Swain from Malton has been training over the last 9 weeks to set a Guinness World Record skateboarding challenge in aid of Mind UK, the mental health charity. He is being supported as an athlete by the Olympic governing body for skateboarding, Skateboard GB, so is now representing his country.
The avid skateboarder will be attempting to skate over 300 miles in just 24 hours at Elvington Airfield on May 8, 2023, the equivalent of 13 full marathons in a day. He will be the first ever UK skateboard to attempt the challenge – the furthest distance travelled on a skateboard in 24 hours is 261.8 miles which was achieved by Andrew Andras from the US at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida, on January 7 to 8, 2013.
Ryan has been garnering local support from businesses who have sponsored him including Groovy Moos Ice Cream, Swallow & Sons, The Patisserie Malton, Smash, The Rusty Fox, Gary Tooby Automotive Services, Number One Health & Beauty, McMillans Of Malton, Fox’s Butchers, The Whole Hogg Farmshop & Tearoom and PLUM. Those businesses alone have helped Ryan raise communally £650 in sponsors.
Ryan has been skateboarding since he was around 12 years old and he is now training three times a week at Everyone Active’s Derwent swim and fitness centre in Norton where he has been given a year’s free pass to train ahead of his challenge in May.
He said: “I will be dedicating my life to this challenge for the next four months with the hope and aim to raise as much money and awareness for the charity Mind UK as possible, and also to try and encourage as many people of all generations to speak out about their own mental health and recognise signs and symptoms.
“There will be lots of discipline around diet, exercise and focussing, and a lot of blood, sweat, tears and aches before and after the challenge. I will be documenting my progress with videos online.
“I feel excited but also scared. This is an incredibly exhilarating challenge which requires not just athleticism but skill and focus. All these things I have been working really hard on over the years. I’m most scared of getting injured, especially in the lead up to the event as I’ve put so much hard work in already to represent the charity and my country.
“It is a test of stamina, resilience and perseverance but I am more than confident it can be achieved and I will, pardon the pun, push it to the limit to bring this Guinness World Record to the UK and, most importantly, back home to Yorkshire for the first time ever.”
The presenter and skateboarder has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition that affects a person’s behaviour.
Ryan said: “I am a huge advocate of mental health with my focus being around ADHD awareness. For me, volunteers at Mind go out of their way to fight your corner. They believe everyone with a mental health problem should be able to access excellent care and services. They provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. And, like myself, they campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding, which is needed within society more than ever right now. I always say that mental health isn’t a destination but a process; it’s about how you drive and not where you are going.”
If you would like to support Ryan, and Mind, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ryanswain24hoursskate or for more information about Mind visit https://www.mind.org.uk/