Richard Parker

YST Rich Parker

Sport: Skateboarding - Inline Halfpipe

How did you get into sport?

I was never talented at traditional sports and wasn't particularly inspired to do them. I saw some people skating one day and didn't realise it was a sport, I just started doing it because it was fun. After time I became aware of what could be done on skates and I loved the challenge and freedom that it offered... from then I never stopped.

What was the biggest challenge you overcame?

Unfortunately the closest vert was 50 miles away from where I lived which forced me to learn how to be extremely disciplined and focused in order to progress. 

What are your three biggest achievements in sport?

  •  X Games silver medal
  •  5 times European Champion
  •  Second person in the world to land a double backflip 180.

Who most inspired you and why?

Growing up I was really inspired by an Australian world champion inline skater named Cesar Mora. Not only was he the best, but he was humble too. I always admired how he helped others within the sport and promoted good sportsmanship.

When and why did you get involved with the Athlete Mentor programme?

I was introduced to the Athlete Mentor work about 10 years ago by a friend who was already involved. I saw what the work was all about and felt I would love to be able to offer a perspective from a non-traditional sport. I love what sport can give, not just to those who want to pursue it to a high level, but to all those involved, and I really enjoy being able to help pass some of that on.

What has been your favourite moment as a YST Athlete Mentor?

My favourite moment as a YST athlete mentor was working with a group of young women who achieved something that, earlier on in the day, they were adamant would not be possible for them. Seeing people step up to challenges and showing what they are truly capable of is really inspiring and that happens time and time again during YST visits.