Cody Elkins, vegan Racquetball player
Success from early years
With a supportive family who love sport Cody Elkins has become a noted vegan athlete at an early age.
As a junior competing in Racquetball, he has 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.
With these successes already to his name, Cody might be expected to struggle to pick out a highlight, although 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 LPRT State Championships” – leaving us to imagine the eight point run that saved then won the match.
“I am 100% vegan” Cody told us proudly in 2015. “I was born a vegetarian 10 years ago and my mom read the book "the 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.“
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.
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 Daiya cheese, noodles, and marinara sauce and tofu. It is a wonderful meal.”
Cody’s mother 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.“
With so many achievements so young, it was difficult to see what more Cody could attempt, although he was not short of answers. Aside from a black belt in karate, he is also aiming for a world racquetball title in both the indoor and outdoor versions in his age group in the future.
In 2016 he started planning his bar mitzvah for October 2017. He has a meal planned at Veggie Grill and plans to speak at local schools about the benefits of a plant-based diet.
“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.”