For someone that is roughly the same age as me, I am truly amazed by how much skateboarder Ryan Sheckler has already accomplished in his lifetime. He was born in 1989; by four years old, he was successfully completing ollies, and by 2003, at 13, he had turned pro.
That same year, Ryan won first place in the Slam City Jam, earned a win in the Summer X Games, as well as a gold medal in the Gravity Games. And from 2007 through 2009, Ryan also gained international attention for his reality show on MTV, “Life of Ryan,” making him a household name.
But even with all of the well-earned recognition Ryan has received, what I find most inspiring about Ryan as an athlete and as a role model is his dedication to his community.
Founded in 2008 by Ryan, as well as his friends and family, the Sheckler Foundation benefits the health of action sports athletes as well as children facing difficult life circumstances.
As proof of his own commitment to the organization, Ryan auctioned off his own Range Rover in order to benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and raised $200,000 doing so.
Although some may see skateboarding or other action sports as solitary activities, Ryan instead wants to show that much of the organization’s success is directly tied to the support he receives from other athletes as well as supporters of the organization, stating on his own website, “I want to make a huge contribution to skateboarding. The only way I will know that I have achieved legendary status is when my peers say I have. There is no other way.”
On the website, professional artists team with eBay in order to auction off skateboard artwork created by a very talented group of professionals including: Leticia Bufoni, Steve Olson, Billy Marks, Jordan Hoffart, Manny Santiago, and A Skate Family, with sales directly benefiting the Sheckler Foundation.
Furthermore, Ryan has also offered support for the 3rd Annual Skate for a Cause, an event in partnership with the Sheckler Foundation, Etnies, and featuring over 30 professional athletes in order to benefit the A.skate Foundation. The A.skate Foundation is also an organization that should be noted for its dedication to its community, by allowing children with autism an opportunity to live positive, inspiring lives through skateboarding.
Because this weekend is Mother’s Day, it should of course be noted that Gretchen Skeckler, Ryan’s own mother, is the CEO of the Sheckler Foundation. Gretchen’s dedication, in partnership with other Sheckler team members Hayley Buc and Angelique Zaki, is also truly inspiring. Ms. Sheckler raised an amazing athlete and son and she continues to inspire others with her charity work showing just how great an impact mothers have on our lives!
- For more information about Ryan Sheckler please visit his personal website at: http://www.ryansheckler.com
- Also visit http://www.shecklerfoundation.org to learn more about the Sheckler Foundation and make a donation if possible!
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