Already in bloom, 2016 promises to be another great year for female freestyle wrestling programs across the United States.
Let’s travel to Michigan.
The great state of Michigan is located in the Great Lakes and mid-western regions of America.
The name Michigan is the French form of the word Ojibwa, meaning large water or large lake.
Michigan is the 10th most populous state in America.
As the global travel site lonelyplanet.com shares, “More, more, more – Michigan is the Midwest state that cranks it up. It sports more beaches than the Atlantic seaboard. More than half the state is covered by forests. And more cherries and berries get shoveled into pies here than anywhere else in the USA.
Michigan occupies prime real estate, surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie. Islands – Mackinac, Manitou and Isle Royale – freckle its coast and make top touring destinations. Surfing beaches, colored sandstone cliffs and trekkable sand dunes also woo visitors.
The state consists of two parts split by water: the larger Lower Peninsula, shaped like a mitten; and the smaller, lightly populated Upper Peninsula, shaped like a slipper. They are linked by the gasp-worthy Mackinac Bridge, which spans the Straits of Mackinac.”
Opportunities for young women to wrestle in a structured and well-coached environment continue to expand.[adToAppearHere]
The states of Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Washington, Oregon and primarily California have been instrumental in leading the way.
Appreciation should go to the state of Michigan also as female wrestling continues to thrive there as well.
A program that is receiving outstanding reviews is the non-profit group, Michigan Girls Wrestling.
At their website michigangirlswrestling.com they explain their purpose. “Michigan’s only grass roots girls wrestling non-profit organization. We are dedicated to creating new opportunities for young female wrestlers everywhere. To help them become student athletes in college. Provide tournament opportunity, travel to events, training, education, and most of all be great people.”
Part of their success is due to their ability to attract effective coaches.[adToAppearHere]
They explain, “Efforts to bring great coaches from outside the families that are willing to create a positive and structured environment, along with the continuing process with the parents that are involved and coach, while we look to transform past athletes into the coaching and referee rolls, supporting with education and providing resources will make the programs at all levels have success and push our athletes to the highest levels in the sport.”
The future possibilities for the young girls who can enter the program as early as elementary school is to eventually secure a scholarship with a university in the Women’s College Wrestling Association (WCWA).
The desire to qualify for the United States Olympic team is a bright possibility also.
In line with that pathway there is the Michigan Women’s National Team who shares, “Our mission is to promote and grow the sport of Women’s Wrestling in Michigan. We promote tournaments within Michigan and provide opportunities for individuals to travel and compete regionally and nationally. One of our goals this year is to increase participation at National Events by 25%.”
Congratulations are in order as Michigan USA Wrestling Women’s Director, Mr. Brent Harvey who was named USAW’s Women’s Coach of the year during the ASICS/Vaughan Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo North Dakota.
Mr. Harvey has also created a tournament series called War of the Roses which is held in various locations across the nation. Brent was also selected to participate in USAW’s Coaches Apprentice Program, coaching the world team in Budapest Hungary.
Great things are happening in the world of female freestyle wrestling in Michigan and the future looks bright.
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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.