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Sky-high somersaults for mental health: A Guinness World Record attempt to support Mind
Blog //14-05-2024

Sky-high somersaults for mental health: A Guinness World Record attempt to support Mind

by OneAdvanced PR, Author

Saurabh Attarde is our principal network consultant in our Managed IT Services business unit. This month, he’s taking on an exciting new challenge. As someone who is particularly passionate about mental health, he is taking the opportunity to make a difference for an issue close to his heart through a stunning world record attempt.

What inspired you to take on the challenge of setting a new world record for the "Most Somersaults in a Sky Dive"?

Skydiving is a passion of mine already. I’m a huge fan of extreme sports – as well as skydiving, I’m also a scuba diver. A challenge is something that will always excite me, and I felt that somersaults during a sky dive would be the right level of challenge for this project.

More importantly, I wanted to do something that would catch people’s attention. That’s because I am doing this to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity, and to raise awareness about mental health. It’s a cause really close to my heart, which made this challenge very important to me.

It took me a long time to work out what I could do that would make a difference, then it came to me. I was just watching a video of someone skydiving on YouTube, and they did a few somersaults – and I thought I should try that. I wanted to know how hard it is, so I looked up if there was a record for doing them. Turns out, it’s 32 – so that’s the number to beat.

I felt that this challenge would be the right opportunity to do something amazing and give something back. It's quite symbolic, really. This process means facing my fears and learning my own mind. When facing the drop of an open door, you need to be ready to centre yourself and be aware of your feelings – then overcome them.

Why did you choose to do this for mental health?

Shortly after moving to the UK from New York, I faced a really difficult period in my life. I was far away from my family back in India, and my friends in America. I really struggled with my mental health at that time.

With hindsight on that experience, I’ve realised just how hard it is for so many people to open up and seek help with their mental health. There’s still a lot of stigma in the world, and that means people don’t admit when they’re struggling – which is even worse. I’ve had to overcome my own barriers in terms of opening up, which is just something that I grew up with.

I’m doing this to open up the conversation in a way that people are really going to pay attention to. I’m trying to make a statement that you can’t ignore mental health, and we have to have those important conversations. I’m also raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, because they’re a really amazing organisation who do some inspiring work and help so many people.

What experience have you had leading up to this challenge?

I’ve been skydiving for a long time. I remember my first time; I had to go strapped to a professional, but it was such a thrill. After that, I got my licence to jump solo.

I’ve practiced doing somersaults while in the air – which was very scary the first few times, before I really got the hang of it. I’ve done a lot of dives, so I’m pretty experienced in the air – but there’s people with a lot more experience than me. The current world record holder has done over six hundred, so about ten times what I have.

I’m really gearing up for this challenge now, getting as much practice as I can. In the lead-up to the challenge, I’ll be doing two dives a day for five days to make sure I’m ready. The big hurdle is preparing myself mentally, making sure I’m ready to face the challenge when it comes to it.

How can people follow your journey and contribute to the cause you are championing?

I would like to encourage everyone to donate to Mind to support their work. You can follow the campaign online here and donate directly – everything goes directly to Mind. It would be great to see more people getting involved and supporting this amazing cause, so I’d encourage everyone reading this to share it far and wide.

If you want to support me in person, I’ll be taking the jump at Chatteris Airfield in Cambridgeshire on the 26th of May. It’ll be quite exciting, with representatives from Guiness World Records there too. I’ll be jumping with one of their testers who will be filming to record the attempt. It would be great to see some people there to support me – because I’m definitely going to be shaking in my jump boots!

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