Shell Rotella launched a charitable initiative this year known as the ‘Rugged Ride for Charity’. The fundraising program is part of Shell Rotella’s sponsorship of the Pro Bull Riders Canada Monster Energy Tour 2020.
At each of the Monster Energy Tour’s ten events, the top scoring competitor was asked to select a charity of their choice to which Shell Rotella would donate $1,000.
When the PBR 2020 season wrapped with the Canada Finals in Grande Prairie, Alberta all ten high-marked riders had chosen the Ty Pozzobon Foundation as the recipient of the ‘Rugged Ride’ donations, for a total of $10,000.
The Ty Pozzobon Foundation was created in 2017, following the tragic death of Ty Pozzobon, a pro bull rider from Merritt.
The Foundation’s mission is “To protect and support the health and well-being of rodeo competitors inside and outside the arena”. The Foundation works in partnership with the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team (CPRSMT) and seeks to educate, support and build western lifestyle participants.
“It all goes back to western sports participants,” said Ty Pozzobon Foundation President Tanner Byrne. “There were events this year that the Ty Pozzobon Foundation funded the CPRSMT to be at. And anyone in this sport can tell you that isn’t cheap to do at all these events across the country and across the schedule. Everywhere that guys were getting on this year, we were there to help out and get the Sports Med team there.”
Although rodeo was impacted, much like any other sport, by the COVID-19 pandemic, donations such as the $10,000 from Shell Rotella have helped the Ty Pozzobon Foundation continue to help pro rodeo athletes.
“We feel very fortunate and appreciative that Shell Rotella has that program in place and thankful to the guys who decided that’s where that money should go,” Byrne said.
“That money goes right back to western sports participants both inside and outside the arena,” Byrne continued.
“It allows us to continue to move forward with the things we are doing. From a bullfighter’s and former bull rider’s perspective, the Foundation does so much for western lifestyle participants. Whether that is having the Canadian Professional Rodeo Sports Medicine Team at all the events we go to, to the education and resources we offer. Just for me, the tape jobs, the physical oversight aspect as a bullfighter, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them there to get me ready and keep me going and have longevity in the sport. Part of that is funded by the Ty Pozzobon Foundation.
“As well, that money is always working towards the Foundation’s mandate on education. This will go towards funding some of the video work we are doing, those are expensive, but we want them done the right way to hopefully help people. They take some time and a lot of work. Brandon Thome and the CPRSMT are working hard to get those out. There are tons of things in the works and in order, and it’s been a tough year to try and get things done.
“We know how tough this year has been on companies and our country,” Byrne concluded.
“Without all that support there would be no Ty Pozzobon Foundation. We have so much gratitude to anyone who is supporting us. I think we are going to be able to do great things in the future, and all great things take time. We are working hard to be always improving and working towards the next best thing, and having the resources ready for anyone reaching out who needs help.”