Jason Townsend named Head of Grappling in Pan America

By Gary Abbott | March 04, 2009, 9:29 a.m. (ET)
Jason Townsend has been named by FILA, the international wrestling federation, in the volunteer leadership position as the Head of Grappling for Pan American countries, and will continue to serve on FILA's World Grappling Committee.

Townsend was a member of the FILA World Grappling Committee for the last two years, and was instrumental in the development of the FILA rules for Grappling.

His assignment with the World Grappling Committee will be to coordinate with the national committees in the Pan American nations and work to develop the sport within the region.

FILA has appointed continental representatives in its restructuring of the World Grappling Committee. Joining Townsend as continental representatives are Larry Papadopoulos of Australia (Oceania), Willem Putter of South Africa (Africa), Hideo Kamaga of Japan (Asia) and Rafael Perlungher of Switzerland (Europe).

The coordinator of the World Grappling Committee is Jean-Francois Court, who chaired the committee the past two years. Court, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was a two-time Olympian in Greco-Roman for France, and a leader in the development of Grappling.

"I appreciate working with Jason because he has a vision for the future of Grappling," said Court. "Jason is a very smart person, and he is really focused on this wrestling style. I have no doubt that his new position will give Jason an opportunity to help put Grappling as the top combat sport on the Pan American continent. Much work is needed, and Jason has the capacity for that challenge."

Townsend served as USA Wrestling's Manager for Developing Styles for over a year, where he managed USA Wrestling's programs in Grappling, Beach Wrestling and other non-Olympic styles. He has resigned from that position as of March 2. He will remain active in USA Grappling's programs as a volunteer and coach.

He was a coach with the 2007 U.S. Grappling World Team which swept all nine gold medals at the World Wrestling Games in Antalya, Turkey. In his staff role with USA Wrestling, he led the delegation and coached the USA to team titles in both No-Gi and Gi Grappling at the first World Grappling Championships, held in Lucerne, Switzerland in December 2008.