They Will Skate Again

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12-year-old Sam Strain lands the first no-hands 50-50 grind of his life on the way to winning the event’s Best Overall Grom award. Photo: six12media.

A special day of skating in Venice.

By Sam Catanzaro

Dropping into the pool at the Venice Beach Skate Park takes guts on a skateboard. Dropping in on a wheelchair takes something special as demonstrated by the competitors on July 7 at They Will Skate Again, a skating event for people affected by spinal cord injuries.

The event was hosted by Life Rolls On, a non-profit founded by world champion quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer. The organization is committed to improving the quality of life for children and teens affected by spinal cord injury through the belief that adaptive surfing and skating can inspire infinite possibilities beyond paralysis for these young people.

Winner of the Most Improved award, Albee Granillo, hovers in mid-air while dropping into the Venice Skate Park’s pool. Photo: six12media.

They Will Skate again featured some of the world’s best young disabled skaters alongside renown professional wheelchair competitors.  Four-time Wheelchair Motor Cross (WCXM) champion Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham wooed the crowd with jaw-dropping aerial tricks in the pool while Robert Thompkins, a professional chair skater, navigated obstacles and grinded down rails on his wheelchair.

Four-time Wheelchair Motor Cross champion Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham dazzled spectators with extreme aerial moves at the They Will Skate Again event on July 7. Four-time Wheelchair Motor Cross champion Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham dazzled spectators with extreme aerial moves at the They Will Skate Again event on July 7. Photo: six12media.

Youngsters put on a show of their own, with inspiring performances by Albee Granillo who won the Most Improved award and 12-year-old Sam Strain who landed the first 50 – 50 no hand grind of his life while competing on his way to winning Best Overall Grom. 

For more information about Life Rolls On, visit their website at www.liferollson.org and follow them on Instagram @liferollsonfoundation.

Professional chair skater Robert Thompkins grinds down a rail at They Will Skate Again. Photo: six12media.
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