Amateur wrestling is a traditional sport that’s fallen on hard times. The lifeblood of the sport, its spot in the Olympics, is threatened and if wrestling does disappear in 2020, it may disappear entirely. However, wrestling is growing at one particular level for the first time in ages. Wrestling may be disappearing in boy high schools and colleges, but girls’ high school wrestling is rapidly becoming a thing. New York City’s Department of Education is launching a girls wrestling program. The program is being funded in part by Manhattan-based nonprofit organization Beat The Streets.
“It [wrestling] humbles you. It also gives you that overwhelming sense if you get out there and try, you can achieve anything. It’s great for girls to have that opportunity too,” said David Cannizzo, a coach with Beat the Streets.
New York City’s Public Schools Athletic League will be adding 16 wrestling programs; 15 are based at school and 1 is a city-wide team. Each team will contain about 18 girls, making it a pretty sizable investment on New York’s part. The girls will learn international freestyle wrestling, in order to directly translate to competitions at higher levels, assuming wrestling returns to Olympic prominence.
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