An interview with Brian has been in the works since the summer of 2016. It’s now June of 2017. Brian has always been open and amenable to doing it- I just happened to consistently get myself bogged down with other stuff. Recently, Brian was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That news lit a fire under a lot of us who should have already been covering and interacting more with Brian and his organization, Green Bay Action Sports Organization (GBASO). Several outlets in Green Bay have done stories on him- I’ll link as many as I can find at the bottom of this page. It’s awesome that a dad of three who started a skate park in a football-crazy town has such an outpouring of love and support from his community. He’s a local treasure and an inspiration to kids (including many of my students) and families and action sports enthusiasts across the area. His wife, Mandy, helped out with this interview. I am grateful to them both, and I’m still hoping to do some climbing on the rock wall or ropes at GBASO. My skating days are mercifully behind me.
Name: Brian Schroeder
Location: Green Bay, WI
Profession: Executive Director of Green Bay Action Sports Organization
Number/Ages of Children: 3 children ages 11, 11 and 8
How did skating and action sports shape your earlier life?
Early in my life there wasn’t much access to any of these action sports. We spent our days as kids building BMX tracks in the fields across from our houses. The action sports gave me an outlet and helped me to build strong relationships with my friends.
What made you want to create GBASO? How has the space changed already and what would you like to see happen with the space?
In 2002, there was a course of events that made me seriously question what it is that I was contributing or not contributing to our community. I witnessed a complete lack of access to a multitude of sports including skateboarding, and I saw that the city’s efforts weren’t getting the results that any reasonable person should expect. I made an inward decision that I was going to be the person who was going to bring a new skateboard facility to Green Bay.
The community that we’ve created has grown. We have a little different ramp configuration, but most notably we’ve added parkour classes and free-to-the-public fitness classes during off hours. I’d like to create a space large enough to truly serve the needs of the community. Not only create space for our community but change the way communities create parks to have indoor and outdoor multi-use facilities so that families can all use the space. Not only do we build up kids, but we also strengthen families and communities and provide an incentive for these kids who are currently cast aside to participate.
You’re a father and husband. What do you hope for your kids and family and as they grow?
I hope that my kids use their gifts and skills to pursue their dreams and make the world around them a better place.
You’ve been dealt some heavy news. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Please share any thoughts you’d like to share.
The hard part is over and the blessings I’ve received over the last week and a half, that regardless of the outcome I’ve already won. I don’t even consider it a fight.
You’ve become a role model to many little skaters in the community. What message or lesson would you like them to hear from you?
I’d like them to trust and believe in themselves. I’d like them to know that they all inspire me in ways that I can’t describe.
Post-Script: I asked a follow up question to Mandy about the diet they are trying to help support Brian’s health. Here’s what she shared:
The diet is a ketogenic and blood type diet. What this means is that he has no sugar and VERY low carbohydrate intake. We are trying to “starve” the tumor and put it into hibernation. He eats a lot of greens, fish, and beans (all organic).
Stories About Brian:
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