Feature

EMT student loves the grind

Skater

“People may say we ruin architecture, but we also find the beauty in it,” says EMT student Brad McCoy. “We learn how to use the architecture, (whereas) people just walk past things that we find a way to utilize and skate.” ANDREW CROSSETT PHOTO

By day, Brad McCoy is just like any other student on the SAIT Polytechnic campus.

The first-year Emergency Medical Technician student dons the same first-responders uniform as his classmates, reads the same textbooks and attends the same lectures.

But when class lets out, McCoy prefers to wear the comfortable clothing associated with his other job, that of a skateboarder.

“What I love about skateboarding is definitely the artistic side of the sport. It’s not a team based thing. It’s based on originality, technique and style,” said McCoy. “I really like that individual skateboarder(s) can have their own influence on skateboarding.”

McCoy, 27, has skated for as long as he can remember and has parlayed his love for skateboarding into sponsorships from such prominent brands as Converse and New Era Apparel, as well as a sponsorship with local Calgary skateboard shop – Group Seven.

With skateboarding being so popular among the younger generations, McCoy understands the importance of spreading positive energy at skateboard parks.

“Anytime I go to a (skateboard) park, I give away as much free stuff as I can,” said McCoy. “Something as small as giving away a board can really impact someone’s love for skating. It did for me.”

Ryan Coulson, a fellow skateboarder and employee at Group Seven, believes McCoy is the perfect fit to represent the shop.

“It’s not so much of a team mentality with us at Group (Seven), it’s more of a family,” said Coulson.

“Anyone who rides for us has got to be positive, and share the same family mentality that we do.”

Being enrolled in such a demanding program may have led McCoy to reevaluate his time commitments, but he insists there’s always time for the sport he’s so passionate about.

“School is priority number one, but I always try to make time each day to skate,” said McCoy. “I go to school and do what I have to do and then I skate for the release.”

Though the academic year is young, McCoy credits his time in the EMT program as already having a profound impact in his life.

“My course is amazing. It’s really opened my eyes and I feel like I’ve learned more in these two weeks than I did during my entire EMR course,” said McCoy. “It’s good because it gets my confidence up with dealing with patients and builds confidence in myself. It’s fantastic.”

This self-confidence must shine through, as McCoy has also made an impact with his classmates.

Chris Jackson, also a first year EMT student, credits McCoy’s personality and focus as having a strong influence in class.

“Brad is easy to get along with and is a total team player,” said Jackson. “He knows when to be serious in class, and also when it’s time to have fun and socialize a bit.”

With aspirations of being a fireman, McCoy knows his EMT schooling will assist him in achieving his goal, but admits he’ll skateboard until he can no longer walk.

Perhaps it’s because McCoy believes there’s something in being a skateboarder that helps him appreciate the everyday beauty in his surroundings.

“There may be some negative aspects to skating. People may say we ruin architecture, but we also find the beauty in it,” said McCoy. “We learn how to use the architecture, (whereas) people just walk past things that we find a way to utilize and skate. We contribute to the artistic side of architecture.”

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