SLA Rolls Out Donations for GRIC Youth
Gila River Indian News
Seven Layer Army Skateboards (SLA) kicked off the new year by distributing skateboarding items for Community youth and aspiring skateboarders. Both co-founders Reuben Ringlero and Paul Molina hosted a “skate giveaway” at the District 3 skatepark in Sacaton Wednesday, Jan. 4.
Over 80 people arrived at the skatepark for the 3 p.m. distribution, an outstanding amount considering the flyer and outreach went out less than 24 hours before. And within an hour of starting, all of the items were gone.
“This giveaway represents the largest donations for us ever. It’s very exciting. We’ve never had this many people come out for a giveaway like this,” said Reuben Ringlero. Items included complete skate decks, new shoes, and bare skate decks.
A deck (board) can cost up to $70, so these donations will go a long way to helping youth who want to learn. The items were provided through generous contributions from Cowtown Skateboards’ “Cowtown Skate” and Phoenix’s “Skate After School” nonprofit organizations.
Since starting in 2008, SLA’s goals have been to provide skateboard competitions and giveaways to motivate a healthy lifestyle for GRIC youth. Since then, SLA has become active in the Community and throughout the valley and has established notable partnerships with numerous skate organizations that support their efforts.
Last year SLA hosted the “Downtown Throwdown” skate competition in Downtown Phoenix in conjunction with the Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration in Oct. This competition was one of the most significant and notable events they hosted for Native skateboarders. Additionally, it demonstrated how much support they’ve developed in the skateboard community.
“I skated as a kid and never had anything like this giveaway available so I hope that this motivates our youth to discover skateboarding, continue skating, so doing these events feels great,” said Ringlero.
As SLA marks its 15th year, they hope to continue providing skate competitions throughout the year, especially since a hiatus due to the pandemic. Before that time, SLA hosted an average of four skate competitions a year and looks forward to what 2023 will bring.
“The Community supports us and skateboarding, as you can see from all the skate parks, so as long as there’s interest from the youth, we’ll keep doing what we can,” said Ringlero.