Latest News | 15 December 2021

World break dancing champ backs Derby’s City of Culture bid

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A Derby world break dancing champion has pledged his support for Derby’s bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025.

Karam Singh, who was born and bred in the city, had added his backing to Derby’s quest to land City of Culture status after it made the longlist of eight finalists.

Derby is currently working hard to put together its full bid, the deadline for which is 2 February.

In the meantime, the city is being urged to get behind the bid – and Karam is the latest high-profile name to show their support.

Recently crowned breakdancing world champion, his exploits have resulted in him landing a major sponsorship deal with sportswear giant Nike.

And he has his sights firmly set on representing Team GB at the Paris Olympics in 2024, where breakdancing, or “breaking” has been added as a new sport.

Karam said that he hoped the City of Culture bid would help shine a spotlight on Derby’s emerging young talent.

He said: “The city of Derby has an abundance of amazing cultures, yet sometimes culture and talent goes unnoticed because it’s not always celebrated.

“Most of the time it goes unseen because of the lack of programmes promoting the great young people of the city, which leads to a lack of progression on both ends.

“As a young person from Derby, growing up there were no programmes in place to support myself or the upcoming talented youth.”

Karam said he hoped that a greater focus on culture in Derby would result in fewer young people having to go to “bigger” cities to develop.

He said: “I quickly learned that progression accelerated much more when travelling.

“Travelling for training, competitions, workshops and generally just to learn from people and places that were full of culture that was celebrated.

“This was to major/bigger cities in the UK and also worldwide whenever I had the opportunity to.

“As an elite breaker from Derby, I believe that if I didn’t travel to find myself within the culture that I love, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

“Locally, there is much talent; but because we’re from a small city with limited access to opportunities or programmes like City of Culture people feel like they need to get out to make it big.

“This generally leads to people giving up their passions and talents or people moving away and leaving the city behind.

“I think this is evident in some of the major success stories/individuals we do have within the city.”

Karam believes that being a City of Culture will help unite the city and bring people together.

He said: “By celebrating one another and spreading awareness it brings us together.

“The togetherness of Derby’s talented art and individuals makes us a very powerful city.If the City of Culture does come to Derby, it opens the door for everybody to fulfil their potential. People will have access to facilities and opportunities they need to make it as artists. It stops us as individuals having to leave the city to excel and find culture. It brings people into us to celebrate it – individuals from all over the globe, bringing light to the city and making it a place for us to be proud of.”

To find out more about Derby’s City of Culture bid and how to get involved click here.

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