March 13th, 2009 by admin
The BTSUSAW program recognizes that it has not only an opportunity, but also a responsibility to contribute to the “25-35 after school fun hours” in the lives of many at-risked kids. The initiative that we have helped develop in New York City provided an opportunity to introduce wrestling to boys and girls to fill a number of those hours in a meaningful, yet fun activity that stimulates the mind and trains the body.
There are over 150 million people who live in Urban America and many of these cities do not offer wrestling in their physical education, intramural and high school Athletic Programs. Our plan is to develop a program that can be implemented at the middle school age group and connect it to new or existing programs in high school. The plan calls for utilizing established community based organizations and after school programs to foster an affinity for the sport that will create a grass roots groundswell to establish new high school programs and improve existing ones.
In the New York City model we successfully forged a partnership with the Public School Athletic League to expand high school wrestling. Since 2004 we have added 60 middle school teams and 40 new high school teams under the BTS/DOE Partnership Agreement. USA Wrestling, the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling provided the initial grants for 3 years to help kick-start the program. In 2009, the Beat the Streets USA Wrestling has launched its national program to expand wrestling to 1 million wrestlers by 2016.
We don’t kid ourselves. We recognize that the success of this project is one that will be measured over years, not days, weeks or months. But we believe that by instilling a love for the sport, it’s benefits will become obvious to educators and the public in such a way as to leave no choice but to invest in its continuing development.
One objective in each city is to partner with local community based organizations as well as members of both the private and public sectors of the community that will take the lead role in developing the successful completion of the template of the project.
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