USA Wrestling sets female athlete membership record in 2009 10

By Gary Abbott | Oct. 07, 2010, 10:51 a.m. (ET)
USA Wrestling is pleased to announce that it set an all-time record in female athlete membership during the recently concluded 2009-10 membership season.

USA Wrestling had a total of 3,761 female athlete members, which broke the previous record of 3,442 set in the 2003-04 membership season.

The top five states in female membership this year were:
1. California, 708
2. Kansas, 314
3. Texas, 230
4. Washington, 227
5. Illinois, 204

California's 708 female members set a new record for state-level female membership, which had been set by California in 2003-04 with 677 members.

USA Wrestling began keeping female membership statistics in the 1994-95 membership season.

USA Wrestling female membership growth parallels gains on other levels. Female participation on the high school level has grown each year since 1990. This year, there is more varsity wrestling opportunities for female college wrestlers than ever before. The number of girls participating in youth programs also continues to grow.

"It is great to see that our numbers within USA Wrestling are up but I would like to challenge coaches and leaders at all levels out to seek even more female participation" said National Women's Coach Terry Steiner.

Steiner believes that an open mind and a positive attitude towards women's wrestling could fuel even faster growth.

"We pride ourselves on this sport being for everyone! Why Wrestling? I think you will answer that question like this: 'I believe in the sport of wrestling and I believe in the life values and lessons it teaches our youth.' If this is true, why does it matter if it is a boy or a girl? We send our daughters to karate, taekwondo, and judo - why not wrestling?? I challenge everybody to open up their minds and hearts about women in the sport of wrestling. There is a place for them on the mat. It is great to see that the sport is growing, but if the wrestling community opens its mind to women in the sport, we could be growing in leaps and bounds" said Steiner.