Each year, Coolibar proudly sponsors a group of athletes who are uncommonly passionate in pursuit of their chosen sports, and also for personal excellence and healthy outdoor living. Our 2014 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes are some of our finest yet. We’re proud to introduce them today. Stay tuned – you’ll hear much more from and about them throughout 2014!
Winner of nine international medals, Stesha Carle has participated in rowing races all over the world. Stesha is a native of La Habra, California and rowed for the Long Beach Junior Crew in high school. She was recruited to the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in Motion Science. Following college she trained with the women’s US National rowing team in Princeton, NJ for six years. Currently Stesha trains in California for SoCal Scullers, with a goal of winning gold at the 2016 Olympic Games. Stesha is a project coordinator for Fastech, a rowing machine instructor for Roworx and a personal trainer. She enjoys running, hiking and exploring sunny California.
Stesha credits rowing with changing her life. Also, her priorities regarding sun protection changed after her father’s surgery to remove melanoma from his cheek – important in a sport that involves being on the water every morning.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Mekia Earle has always maintained a love of the outdoors and fitness, as well as a high standard as a healthy role model to the younger generation growing up in Hawaii. She began playing beach volleyball at a young age, and attended college on an athletic scholarship in the Pacific Northwest. Fitness plays a major role in Mekia’s life. She holds a masters degree in Kinesiology and teaches girls physical education for grades 5 – 8 at Punahou School on Oahu; she also coaches and does color commentary for high school volleyball programs and works out every day to stay fit.
Mekia says that almost everyone who grew up in Hawaii has been affected by skin cancer directly or indirectly. As a wife (her husband recently had skin cancer removed from his neck) and a mother of two children, she is committed to imparting knowledge, awareness and understanding about healthy lifestyles and being smart about the sun.
Jim Webster grew up in the Catskills of central New York, where the surroundings and his dad instilled in him a great love and respect for the outdoors. During many fishing outings he learned how to read the water, to spot changes in the environment and most of all what it means to be a conservationist. These skills translated into the patience, observation and practice required to become a marksman, as well as the respect for equipment and the responsibility to firearms safety. He says his dad’s insistence on reviewing the range rules lessened his youthful curiosity about firearms and at the same time broadened his respect for them. Since 2011 Jim has specialized in long range shooting competitions. He has won seven gold medals in 2012 and 14 more in 2013. He is the 2013 NY State F-T/R Long Range champion, and plans to compete in the US Nationals in Arizona in fall 2014. In the near future Jim hopes to open his own marksmanship academy for students of any experience or shooting discipline, with a consistent focus on safety and responsibility.
Jim lives in New York state with his wife Molly and daughter Katie (both very goodmarkswomen in their own right) and enjoys hiking, escaping to the beach and fishing with friends in Rhode Island…all good tests for Coolibar’s complete line of UV protective clothing.
Valerie grew up a self-described tomboy on a big wheat farm in Washington State. She waterskiied on the Snake River, rode horses bareback, and found plenty of potentially dangerous fun. However, Valerie found no outlet for formal sports until she was 40 years old, with an eight-month-old baby, and began snowboarding. Soon hopelessly addicted, Valerie competed in the Lake Tahoe division of USASA (United States of America Snowboard Association) and medaled at every competition; she went on to compete and medal at the national level for the next six seasons.Valerie is the owner of Pow Productions, a video production company that has produced two international snowboarding videos, “Hips That Rip” and “Outlaws to Olympians;” the latter received an award at the 20th Annual Telly Awards.
Valerie belongs to several groups that kayak the rivers, lakes, and bays of northern California. She also enjoys yoga. She says, “When I’m physically active, I feel free, happy, strong, capable, confident, and young.”
Born and raised in Florida, Trey Seibold picked up a tennis racquet during college and has never looked back; he has been a professional tennis instructor for the past 25 years.
In addition, Trey participates in triathlons and races surf skis. He’s placed in every race that he competed in this year. His goal is to constantly improve in every aspect of his personal and professional life.
Trey lives in Fort Lauderdale with his wife and three stepchildren. Trey works and trains outdoors seven days a week, so sun protection extremely important. Six months ago he discovered Coolibar and has been wearing it ever since. Coolibar is not only protecting him from the sun, keeps him cool and feeling comfortable since he wears it up to 11 hours! Trey wants to share the importance of sun protection to everyone he works with.
Jerry Leonard is a three-time Louisiana state power lifting champion and the athletic director at Salmen High School – his alma mater – where he has been a high school football coach, biology and physiology & anatomy teacher for over 20 years.
He grew up in south Louisiana and spent a great deal of time outside, playing sports and enjoying the outdoors. Jerry is an avid golfer and fitness enthusiast. When he is not outside for work-related activities, he’s usually outside enjoying recreation with his family.
Jerry says Coolibar is a great partner for him to enjoy his time in the sun and protect himself from sun damage. Jerry says, “I like the idea of being able to wear cool and comfortable clothing in the Louisiana heat while being fully protected. Coolibar has given me the ability to enjoy my time outside, do my job, and limit my exposure to the harmful effects of the sun…much to the approval of my dermatologist.”
Growing up in SoCal, Leslie Jackson always thought of the beach as her “happy place.” Today, it’s her gym. A not-so-typical mother of two in Carlsbad, California, Leslie began standup paddleboarding (SUP) in early 2013 and quickly graduated to SUP racing. She has a passion for fitness, the ocean and the outdoors, and incorporates SUP into her other pursuits including interval or cross training and yoga.
Her inspiration for activity likely comes from the medical equipment business she owns with her husband, which for many years has served people with disabilities. Recently the business has broadened into custom and adaptive recreational equipment, including the development of an adaptive paddleboard for people with disabilities.
Leslie also shares the joy of sports with her kids, ages 9 and 11 (she’s also an unabashed soccer mom) and trains them in the basics of standup paddleboarding.
As an eight-year-old in Phoenix, Arizona, Rich Early remembers accomplishing his first athletic goal: getting picked after school to play with the older boys on a real baseball field. Today, he spends winter months in the Pacific Northwest playing indoor tennis and working out in his home gym specifically to stay in shape for the sport he still loves: softball.
By itself this is another impressive accomplishment. A few years ago, Rich developed a sensitivity to UV rays. Sunscreen caused his eyes to itch and water. He was forced to quit playing tournament ball for several years. Coolibar clothing to the rescue – Rich was able to resume the sport this past May.
Rich’s team finished 2nd in the 65 age bracket at the Senior Winter Nationals games in Phoenix last November, as his family watched him play for the first time in more than 50 years. Rich uses his upcoming softball season, which will conclude at the Huntsman Senior Games in St. George, Utah in October, as inspiration as he pushes through his winter workout program.
A native Floridian, Kaitlyn grew up in the outdoors playing at the beach, soccer field or golf course. Although she played many different sports growing up, she found her true passion was golf. Playing and excelling in countless junior and amateur events gave her the opportunity to play collegiate golf at The University of Central Florida. A recent graduate with a degree in Public Administration and Sports Business Management, Kaitlyn is currently preparing to follow her dream to be a professional golfer.
Kaitlyn has realized the importance of skin protection from her mother who is a two-time melanoma survivor. Along with golfing, Kaitlyn enjoys cycling and boating.