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New Movie Highlights Dangers Of Extreme Sports

'The Crash Reel' Highlights Story Of US Snowboarder Kevin Pearce


A new movie highlighting the potential dangers of extreme sports has been launched in the UK.

'The Crash Reel' follows the plight of professional US snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who sustained a severe brain injury while training for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Supported by Headway - the brain injury association - the film features interviews and 20 years worth of action footage.

It was first aired in Soho on Friday evening (October 4th) and will be screened in various destinations around the UK and Ireland throughout October. The next showings will be held on October 11th at The Lighthouse in Dublin, as well as London's Hackney Picture House and the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton.

Made by award-winning filmmaker Lucy Walker, the movie shows how Pearce landed on his head while honing his snowboarding skills and critics have labelled the film as "jaw-dropping".

The accident was the catalyst for the Love Your Brain campaign, which was set up to raise awareness of head injuries among snowboarders and skiers.

It also covers the importance of wearing helmets when out on the slopes, which is a burning issue in the extreme sports world at the moment.

According to Love Your Brain, at least 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries are sustained in the US every year, while Headway estimates someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury every 90 seconds.

Ahead of the UK launch of The Crash Reel, UK snowboarding instructor Charlotte Elmore has shared tales of her own "lucky" escape.

She had attempted a jump in Mayrhofen, Austria, but woke up on a stroke unit in England six weeks later.

Ms Elmore said she was fortunate to have only spent three months in hospital and the consequences of her accident could have been far worse.

"I say 'lucky', in comparison to many brain injury victims," she remarked.

"Most people who sustain a traumatic brain injury can be in hospital for a lot longer and some need years to recover any of their physical or cognitive functioning."

Expert Opinion
There has been a lot of focus in the US on the potential risk of traumatic brain injury in contact sports but much less emphasis in the UK so this is a very welcome and great piece of work supported by Headway to raise awareness.

“Extreme sports are a hugely popular pastime but are by their very nature fraught with risk. We have seen many cases when people have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of safety issues during such activities.

“We are proud supporters of Headway at Irwin Mitchell and fully behind this latest campaign. It is vital that sportspeople and enthusiasts always take care when out on the slopes and ensure that their safety comes first.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner