Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Skateboarding [Print without images]

Sunday, September 30, 2012
Ryan Sheckler -- 'Be The Change'

By Robin Fleming
ESPN.com

Ryan Sheckler and Plan B release 'Be The Change' board to help skateparks.

Professional skateboarder and X Games gold medalist Ryan Sheckler, along with the Sheckler Foundation, is releasing a limited edition skateboard with Plan B Skateboards, to raise funds for Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe Skatepark.

The Sheckler Foundation, founded in 2008, extends back to his younger years with a variety of charitable organizations. Sheckler explains, "I was around eight. It started with visiting sick kids in the hospital. Then I got connected with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and I was hooked. 'Be the Change' is how the Sheckler Foundation has evolved over the past five years. I really like the direction we're headed. It's cool to see everyone rally around these causes."

With the motto "Educate, Empower and Equip," the Sheckler Foundation launched the "Be the Change" project in the spring of 2012. The public was invited to nominate a worthy cause that would have a positive, far-reaching effect on children's lives, or the lives of injured action sports athletes. From hundreds of entries, the top four submissions were opened to a public vote online, and this year's winner is the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, from Washington state.

More than a third of the tribe's population is under eighteen years old, with only four traditional parks. Their remote location at the tip of the Kitsap Peninsula makes it hard for young skaters to leave their community seeking out more shred-able terrain. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal youth leadership group, SWAG, which stands for S'Klallams Working And Giving, is a group of local kids, ages eleven to eighteen, working on benefitting their community by developing and improving recreational activities for young people. And on the top of their list -- a skatepark.

"There is a clear and obvious need for a skatepark here... to provide the youth culture here with a landscape to support and promote physical creative expression", said Kelly Sullivan-Baze, Deputy Director of Tribal Services, in her letter to the Sheckler Foundation. "This is a project that could contribute so much to building community, spirit and healthy life style choices in a place where kids truly do not have a place to grow and benefit from the skateboarding experience."

Visit the Sheckler Foundation to make a donation to the park, pick up a Plan B "Be the Change" skateboard, offer resources or volunteer your time at The Sheckler Foundation "Be The Change."