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Vegan Family of Six: featuring 13 year old Cody Elkins, Racquetball Champion
By Great Vegan Athletes

Cody 10 years Old

Success from early years

With a supportive vegan family of six who love sport, Cody Elkins became a noted vegan athlete at an early age. As a junior competing in racquetball, he had already achieved great things.  In 2013, aged eight, he was the American Junior champion, and in 2014 he was the California State Champion and finished third in the Junior Olympics. In 2015 he finished third in the World Outdoor Championships and won the World Indoor Championships for 10 and under.  Cody also retained his state title.  He was ranked #2 in the USA in 2015 in the 10 and under category.

Vegan power!

“I am 100% vegan” Cody told us proudly in 2015. “I was born a vegetarian 10 years ago and my mom read the book “Skinny Bitch” eight years ago and we went vegan the very next day.  I have been vegan eight years and feel great about it because I am saving animals.”

 The family was motivated by the health aspects of veganism too, although they are acutely aware of other issues including animal suffering, environmental issues and water supply.

“Our family wants to be as healthy as possible and live a long time.  Our family of six went vegan for health reasons and to cause less suffering, but as we learn more we are happy we are taking care of the environment too and saving water.“

What does Cody eat?

Racquetball tournaments are interesting events for vegans from a catering perspective; Cody says the food available there is“some of the most unhealthy food”, so the family takes their own.  They have yet to win over the coach to veganism.

While at home, they are regulars at ‘Veggie Grill,’ a chain offering some interesting meals.  “I love everything at this vegan restaurant, but some of my favourites are Sante Fe Crispy Chicken and Mac and Cheese which are plant based.”

As a fan of Veggie Grill, he was keen to introduce his friends and had his birthday party there. “I had a 100% vegan 10th Birthday party at Veggie Grill so my friends could all try my favorite food.  I was really happy most of them came, and one of my friends is now addicted to Veggie Grill and is now a vegetarian.”

Cody also helps with home cooking.  “I like to cook Vegan Lasagna with my mom.  We put Vegan cheese, noodles, and marinara sauce and tofu.  It is a wonderful meal.”  

Cody’s mother, Deborah Elkins, tells us that Cody is enthusiastic about his lifestyle.  “Cody reads labels and does not trust what anybody tells him.  He researches his food to make sure he can eat it when he is not with us.”

Cody says, “My hopes for the future are that everyone will be vegan so we do not have to kill livestock and cause all that animal suffering.  The animals will not be endangered.”

Cody also trains in karate and was awarded his black belt in 2016.  He started at age four and maintains a disciplined regime with teacher Keith Cooke, who was named ‘Competitor of the Year’ by Black Belt magazine in 1985, and won five grand champion titles at the US World and US Open Karate tournaments.

In 2017, Cody aged 12 entered the World Outdoor Racquetball Championships, winning the boys age 12 years group.  He also played in the older boys age 14 category, and won Gold in that category too. At the Junior Olympics, he was a bronze medalist in the boys 12 and under doubles, and a semi-finalist in the mixed doubles 12 and under – with partner Camilla Gomez.

He was also a finalist in Great Vegan Athlete of the Year.

With these successes already to his name, Cody might be expected to struggle to pick out a highlight; however, one victory stood out for him.

“My biggest achievement in racquetball was when I was down 14 -6 and I came back and won 15-14 at the State Championships” – leaving us to imagine the eight point run that saved, then won the match.

Cody is now sponsored by Splathead sports clothing and by Cliff Swain

During the year, he also celebrated his vegan Bar Mitzvah, taking the opportunity to educate his friends and extended family about veganism.

Meanwhile, Cody’s 18 year old brother Dane won the advanced division.  Dane Elkins recently achieved something that has only been done one other time in the 30-year history of the High School National Championships.  Dane not only won the Boys #1 Singles but also partnered with Jared Anwar to win the Boys #1 Doubles, and with Atossa Rejaei to win the Mixed #1 Doubles. With his #1 Gold in the Singles, Dane was appointed to the 2017 US Junior National Team. Congratulations Dane for this accomplishment and congratulations to Jared Anwar and Atossa for being great partners!

In 2018, 13 year old Cody Elkins won the California State Junior Racquetball Championships in the doubles. Playing with his partner from the Junior Olympics, Camila Gomez, he won the intermediate division, undefeated. Cody won two singles matches and three in doubles. The doubles final was a tense event with Cody fighting back from what could have looked like a losing position.

 

 

 

Deborah Elkins:

This inspirational mother of four vegan kids also volunteers at three schools, and at UCLA, bringing the schools and the community an abundance of donated food to feed hungry students and others in need.

There are 300 documented homeless students at UCLA alone.  She is also the Community Liaison for the UCLA Bruin Shelter, a homeless shelter for college students.  There is a hunger/homeless crisis in the schools and in the community. and she has been doing all she can to ease the hunger with the help of local grocery stores and bakeries donating excess, overproduced food that usually gets thrown out.

She raises funds for three school auctions in Los Angeles and builds partnerships with the community to help their public schools by personally bringing abundance to the schools.

Her family has been featured as the Vegan Family in shows such as ABC Family Docudrama Beverly Hills Nannies Premiere episode, they did a spoof on Chelsea Lately with the Super nanny.  They hope to inspire more families to live a plant based lifestyle through movies, cooking shows, social media and they are grateful for every opportunity.

Deborah’s passion is to write and blog to inspire others to live a healthier lifestyle choosing plant based foods.  She is a Veggie Grill Brand Ambassador and enjoys promoting and inspiring others to try great vegan food and vegan products.

‘Bagel Mom’ Creates a Community of Kindness

While a lack of a nutritional breakfast is not typically associated with Pacific Palisades, school administrators are seeing more hungry students, and teachers are dealing with the repercussions in the classroom.  But when you ask the teachers how many kids are hungry, you’ll find out how many kids are not eating at all before they come to school, and struggling in class due to malnutrition.

About Great Vegan Athletes

Great Vegan Athletes was formed in 2011 by a small group of vegans interested in sport and fitness.

Their aims have always been two-fold: to showcase the range of athletic ability at the higher levels among vegans, and to encourage people of all backgrounds to give veganism a try.

The second of these led us to partner with Veganuary, and every month we encourage people to sign up to their ‘Try Vegan this Month” program.

How do we work?

Thanks to the internet and social media in particular, we have been able to maintain and establish contact with a number of elite vegan athletes in a variety of sports. Sometimes we hear about them and contact them, sometimes they contact us. We often get told about athletes, we may be interested in, by fans, friends and family of the athletes. or athletes we’re already in touch with.  All of these are appreciated, even if they don’t lead to a suitable athlete being identified for a profile on the site. If you have information to send us, please let us know.

We only feature athletes who meet high standards in respect of veganism and athletic achievement, and we have declined or postponed a number of athletes on these grounds, which is always a painful decision to make.  If we cannot get in touch with an athlete to verify that they’re vegan, we don’t proceed.  After we’d been in touch with an athlete, we ask them to approve their profile before we upload it, and some request changes to it.  It’s very important to us that we represent athletes fairly. We’re always happy to include relevant links on the profile, such as those to their own site or campaigns they’re involved in.

See many more World Class Vegan Athletes: http://www.greatveganathletes.com/

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