U S Beach and Sombo Nationals plus Board and State Leaders meetings set for Palm Beach County Fla Aug 17 20

By Gary Abbott | June 13, 2006, 2:13 p.m. (ET)
USA Wrestling has named Palm Beach County, Fla. as the host for two of its national championship events this summer, the U.S. Beach Nationals and the U.S. Sombo Nationals, as well as its semi-annual Board of Directors meeting and its annual State Leaders Conference. These activities will be held August 17-20.

The bid was awarded to the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and the Palm Beach County Sports Institute. Also participating with the local organizing committee will be the Palm Beach County Community Olympic Development Program in Wrestling and the Florida Amateur Wrestling Association.

"We believe Palm Beach County will serve as a wonderful host for this important event," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. "Palm Beach County has long been a leader within the Olympic Movement and we are very excited to bring athletes and our sports leadership to such a progressive sports community."

"The Sports Commission and CODP are excited to welcome the USA Wrestling community to Palm Beach County this summer. We offer wrestlers and their families the opportunity compete in the first ever Beach and Sombo National Championships, while enjoying miles of beaches, crystal blue waters, wonderful cultural attractions and endless shopping," said Pam Gerig-Bland, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

USA Wrestling will host its first U.S. Beach Wrestling National Championships at the Hilton Singer Island Waterfront Resort on Singer Island in Riviera Beach, Fla., Saturday, August 19.

The registration and weigh-in for the U.S. Beach Wrestling Nationals will be held on Saturday morning, with competition tentatively set to begin at 12:00 noon.

Beach Wrestling was added as a new style of international wrestling, starting in 2005. Athletes compete on sand, in a style that features takedowns within a ring. Although there have been a number of beach wrestling events held in the USA, this will be the first official U.S. National Championships in the new sport.

USA Wrestling will also host the U.S. National Sombo Championships in Palm Beach County August 19-20, at the North Palm Beach Community Center in North Palm Beach, Fla.

Registration and weigh-ins for the U.S. Sombo Nationals will be on Saturday night, August 19. The competition will begin on Sunday morning, August 20 and continue to completion.

Sombo is a style of jacket wrestling with submission holds originally developed in the former Soviet Union as a form of unarmed self-defense. It has similarities to judo and wrestling, and has been reinstated as an international style of wrestling this year. Sombo was included in international wrestling until the mid-1980s, when the international wrestling federation no longer recognized the sport.

These two events will serve as the qualifiers for the U.S. teams that will compete at the World Beach Wrestling Championships and the World Sombo Championships, set for Antalya, Turkey, Oct. 27-29.

USA Wrestling will also conduct its semi-annual Board of Directors meeting at the Hilton Singer Island Waterfront Resort. These are the volunteer leaders that set the direction for USA Wrestling and represent all aspects of the wrestling community.

USA Wrestling will also conduct its annual State Leaders Conference at the Hilton Singer Island Waterfront Resort. This annual meeting brings together volunteer leaders from each of the USA Wrestling state associations. These participants attend workshops and seminars and network together to help expand and improve USA Wrestling's programs and activities.

Specific details on the U.S. Beach Wrestling National Championships and the U.S. Sombo National Championships will be published shortly. Wrestlers and their families are encouraged to mark their calendar for August 19-20, and plan to attend these exciting events in Palm Beach County.

About the Palm Beach County Sports Commission

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, non-profit organization contracted by the County to promote and bring sporting events and activities to the area. Goals of the PBCSC are to enhance the economic impact of Palm Beach County, maximize utilization of facilities and stimulate bed tax revenues, primarily in the off-season.

About the Palm Beach County CODP

The Palm Beach County Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) is a community outreach collaboration between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), national governing bodies and the Palm Beach County Sports Institute in which young athletes are introduced to Olympic sports through community-based initiatives. Through this collaboration, motivated and talented athletes receive high quality training, coaching and competitive opportunities they otherwise would not receive. The Palm Beach County CODP Wrestling Manager is Shawn Sheldon, who came to the Palm Beach County CODP from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he helped coach the U.S. National Team. He is a two time Olympian and World Silver Medalist, with nine U.S. National Championships under his belt in the sport of wrestling. Shawn was recently named 2005 Greco-Roman Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling.