Majestic green forests softly blanket the landscape and from the interstate; water, water everywhere and so much to be soothed by. Seattle is the Emerald City where just walking down its streets, fosters artistic creativity.
Washington is a state of open spaces and fresh air.
Many would agree it’s historically also a state of open minds and fresh ideas.
The educational site historylink.org points out, “Bertha Knight Landes, elected mayor of Seattle in 1926, became the first woman to lead a major American city. She ran on a platform of “municipal housekeeping,” vowing to clean up city government. She advocated municipal ownership of utilities such as City Light and street railways. Her single term ended in 1928, but she remained a civic leader and role model for women.”
Recent history demonstrated that Seattle led the way on raising the minimum wage to hopefully improve the lives on many low wage workers.
The respected financial news source money.cnn.com reminds us, “Washington already has the nation’s highest state-level minimum wage, at $9.32. That rate also applies to the city.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25, and Democrats in Congress have been pushing for a gradual increase to $10.10, but so far to little effect.
The increase to $15 in Seattle will take place over several years based on a scale that considers the size of and benefits offered by an employer. It will first apply to many large businesses in 2017 and then to all businesses by 2021.”[adToAppearHere]
There is a large debate over whether that is practical or not but at least they thought of it first.
So is it no surprise that this great state is one of the leaders in organizing, sanctioning and promoting girl’s wrestling?
On February 07, 2013 in writer Nick Daschel’s Special to The Oregonian, he reported, “Girls wrestling is flourishing in Washington and the number of participants nationwide grew to more than 8,000 in 2011-12 from about 5,500 four years earlier. But in Oregon, which has strict rules for adding sanctioned high school sports, the story is much different.
Sisters Hailey, left, and Emily Huerta
This season there are about 1,300 girls wrestling statewide in Washington; many schools have team rosters ranging from 15 to 35. Washougal has 17 girls on its team. They compete in dual meets and tournaments throughout the winter season, girls wrestling girls.
Only Texas and California have more girls wrestling than Washington.”
Progressive Washington has a state wrestling coaches association that promotes girls wrestling.
To add a state tournament in a particular sport, at least 40 schools, regardless of WIAA classification, must offer the sport. In a state with about 415 high schools, that’s less than 10 percent.
Girls wrestling in Washington has grown by more than 100 participants each year since it became a sanctioned sport in 2007.[adToAppearHere]
Part of what is fueling the growth is that say unlike football, girl’s wrestling is an inexpensive sport to maintain, and the popularity of mixed martial arts helps influence it.
The growth is allowing dynasties to be formed. The source allaroundtim.com shares in 2013, “Wrestling is king at Sedro-Woolley High School. The boy’s team has nine state titles, including six in a row from 2002 through 2007. The girl’s wrestling team wins titles too. Yes, you read that right — high school girl’s wrestling. The Cubs are currently four-time defending state champions.”
The coaching community is being affected in a positive way as well. With the growth spurt in girls wrestling, many high schools have turned to women coaches to learn the techniques from their male counterparts.
One of the powerful life lessons about doing the right thing and forwarding dreams for both genders is the impact that it can have on others.
Far across the country, Miami is an excellent case in point.
The Miami Herald informs, “When it comes to high school girl’s athletics in Florida, wrestling is virtually the final frontier.
Every other sport sanctioned for boys by the FHSAA has a female equivalent, including such relative newcomers as weightlifting and flag football.
But wrestling, which has been sanctioned by the state for boys for half a century, has no real option for girls.”
Having said that, there is good news.
The story continues that on January 24, 2015, “Girls will finally get a chance to wrestle other girls in South Florida. Coaches Mike Zarra of McArthur and Ron Schulz of Nova are promoting the first-ever South Florida High School Girls’ Wrestling Championships.
The tournament will be at McArthur, and Zarra said more than 30 high school girls have already signed up to show their skills.”
As we can see, when it comes to giving girls more choices and options to compete in a healthy sport like wrestling, Washington’s fresh ideas and open minds are making a difference.
~ ~ ~
Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.