The Sentinels are sounding a positive alarm.
Sentinel species are organisms, often animals, used to detect risks to humans by providing advance warning of a danger. The terms primarily apply in the context of environmental hazards rather than those from other sources. Some animals can act as sentinels because they may be more susceptible to or have greater exposure to a particular hazard than humans in the same environment.
There are countless examples of environmental effects on animals that later manifested in humans.
Well into the 20th century, coal miners brought canaries into coal mines as an early-warning signal for toxic gases, primarily carbon monoxide.
The birds, being more sensitive, would become sick before the miners, who would then have a chance to escape or put on protective respirators.
Today there are some symbolic canaries flying out of the cave letting us know that not only is girls wrestling alive and healthy, it’s growing at a rapid pace across the United States.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”… Benjamin Franklin
According to a March 2013 ESPN article, since 1994, the number of girls who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to over 8,000 and the number of intercollegiate women’s wrestling teams has gone from six to 21 in just five years.
As we move up the timeline, more headlines speak to that growth.
Here is the latest update regarding the same exciting progression.
At the vibrant college site adrianbulldogs.com, “According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association website, since 1994 the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to nearly 10,000. In addition, 25 colleges now sponsor a varsity wrestling program including those as far west as the state of Oregon and also Midwestern schools in Kentucky and Missouri. The NCWA conducts a 16-team National Dual Meet Championship in conjunction with the NWCA/Cliff Keen Collegiate National Duals each year.”
Every year it just keeps getting better and better.
On May 28, 2016, the informative news and information site statesmanjournal.com reported, “Alaska, California, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas and Washington – sanction a high school state championship for girls.
Nationally, there were 11,496 girls wrestling in high school in 2014-15, compared with 783 in 1993-94, according to the NWCA. The push to include more girls may have started as a way to preserve the sport for boys, but the girls’ side has grown faster than expected.”
At virginiawrestling.com, they share, “The Virginia girls high school wrestling season experienced tremendous growth this year. While opportunities for girls to participate in the sport of wrestling continue to be through mixed gender teams and competitions, girls wrestling grew from a hydrated 165 in the 2015-2016 season, to 225 hydrated in this years’ 2016-2017 season.
Additionally, Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, Kansas and Nebraska have grass roots organizations that are working to put on a female events for high school girls. The Illinois wrestling coaches and officials organization will run a championship for the girls in March alongside their IWCOA freshman/sophomore championships for boys.”[adToAppearHere]
On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, the comprehensive regional news source abc7chicago.com smiles, “Girls’ interest in wrestling has grown in popularity over the last decade, which means that “wrestling like a girl” could be viewed as a compliment.”
Whew, there is still more.
Also on Tuesday January 17, 2017 in terms of the push in Colorado to have high school girls wrestling division, starting with state events, www.9news.com educated us, “Eighty female wrestlers representing 42 schools came as far as Buena Vista — even the state of Nebraska — to participate in this historic event. While this was only a trial run to gage the interest in the emerging sport, many were surprised to see the turnout.”[adToAppearHere]
We suspect this only the beginning.
The popularity of the female MMA world is well-documented and the change in society’s view that girls can be accomplished athletes is no doubt contributing to this growth.
The WCWA has had a huge influence as well.
The WCWA serves as the governing body for women’s college wrestling.
The (WCWA) is a completely autonomous association currently administering programs of intercollegiate athletics in the sport of women’s wrestling.
In 2013 when Female Competition International first began publishing, there were approximately 12-14 schools that provided scholarships for girls wrestling.[adToAppearHere]
Now there are well over 30 schools and climbing.
So yes, the proverbial canary is flying out of the cave, alerting us that the growth in girls wrestling is burgeoning.
This is a signal from a sentinel that all things in this female sport are alive, healthy and very well.
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