These are some of the legends who are backing The Movement Collab, if you’re interested in becoming an ambassador or advocate:
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
Injury: C4 complete, 6th July 2014
Professional wakeboarder Brad Smeele dedicated more than half of his life perfecting his craft, and as a result he quickly became known as an innovator due to the level in which he pushed the limits of the sport.
Brad then won the 2014 trick of the year award with the world’s first double tantrum (double back flip) to blind over a mega ramp. Unfortunately, just weeks later, Brad took a heavy crash attempting to land that same trick again, resulting in him breaking his neck, leaving him a quadriplegic.
Brad now inspires people worldwide with his tenacity to not only regain movement, but also to live a full and action packed life, regardless of his debilitating injury. He has remained involved in his sport as a commentator at international wakeboarding events.
A greater purpose has also been found in Brad’s life – raising awareness and funding for spinal cord injury research, and helping others facing similar life changing circumstances.
Hometown: Quebec, Canada
Injury: C5-C6, 25th October 2016
Ben Leclair quickly made himself known as one of the most innovative wake park riders to ever ride a wakeboard.
Ben’s injury came only months after his video “Natural Playgrounds” made serious waves throughout the wakeboarding community. The video features Ben tearing his way through French neighborhoods after record flooding created an obstacle course water world.
Unfortunately, Ben took an extremely heavy crash while filming a new video part just outside of Orlando, Florida, in 2016, breaking his C5 and C6 vertebrae’s, leaving him with no movement in his arms or legs and the ability to flex just one bicep.
After continued physical rehab Ben has made some incredible progress and now has movement in both arms and continues to inspire with his relentless approach to his rehabilitation.
This quote from Ben sums up exactly what we at The Movement Collaborative are striving for, and why we are so honored to have him as an ambassador.
“We need to keep working together and gathering all the research and knowledge to make sure no studies are left behind or duplicated.
I think it’s very important that the SCI community itself advocates for a cure because our situation is still so obscure to the general public. We need to get out, spread the word about our injuries and raise awareness about the reality of our lives.”