USA Wrestling, in partnership with KIDS in the GAME, supports the Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game initiative

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Jan. 20, 2014, 2:13 p.m. (ET)
VIDEO: Jack Pinto...Getting Kids in the Game initiative

USA Wrestling will support and promote a national youth sports initiative called “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign, which benefits the non-profit organization KIDS in the GAME (KITG).

The campaign honors the short, but inspiring life of six-year-old Jack Pinto who lost his life in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Active in a number of sports, Pinto was a wrestler with the Newtown Youth Wrestling Association, a USA Wrestling club in his hometown.

Jack's parents, Tricia and Dean Pinto, selected KIDS in the GAME, and helped launch a national awareness and fundraising campaign, which is dedicated to providing underprivileged children across America with the resources they need to get in the game and thrive in life through sports.

USA Wrestling is announcing its partnership in support of the “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” initiative during the week of the Jack Pinto Cup, an international Greco-Roman dual-meet event which will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., January 25. This is the second year in which this international event hosted by USA Wrestling has honored wrestler Jack Pinto.

“USA Wrestling is pleased to support KIDS in the GAME and its effort to provide sports opportunities to deserving youth across the nation. We feel that it is very appropriate to initiate our promotion of the “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” initiative during the week of the Jack Pinto Cup Greco-Roman wrestling event at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. We have chosen to honor the life of wrestler Jack Pinto at this event, and we are proud to sponsor a new program for kids that is endorsed by Jack’s parents,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to partner with USA Wrestling to continue our initiative designed to honor Jack Pinto. As we raise more awareness and funds we will have the opportunity to get even more underprivileged kids active and into sports in Jack’s honor. We are excited to get more youth into wrestling and look forward to a long partnership with USA Wrestling,” said Natalie Hummel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of KITG.

“The KIDS in the GAME team is doing incredible work and it felt natural for us to partner with them to honor Jack's memory and his love of play through efforts to help youth. It is our hope that others will consider giving in Jack's honor to celebrate his love of sports and play, and help give underprivileged kids across this country an opportunity to enjoy sports like he did. We appreciate USA Wrestling’s support of this campaign,” said Jack's parents, Dean and Tricia Pinto.

The Jack Pinto Cup features four U.S. teams and four teams from foreign nations, competing in dual meet competitions. It is traditionally the kickoff event of the new year for Greco-Roman Team USA. This year, the United States, China, Kazakhstan and India are expected to participate.

Jack’s father Dean, and his brother Ben, will be special guests of USA Wrestling at the 2014 Jack Pinto Cup, and will help launch USA Wrestling’s involvement with the “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign. In addition, KITG executive director Natalie Hummel will also attend the Jack Pinto Cup.

USA Wrestling will make public address announcements supporting the campaign at two major wrestling events in Colorado Springs on January 25, the Jack Pinto Cup as well as the Colorado Springs Orthopedic Group Metro Wrestling Championships held at Doherty High School. USA Wrestling will accept donations for the campaign at these events.

USA Wrestling will work closely with KIDS in the GAME to develop a comprehensive program to help promote the “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign within wrestling. Information on the campaign will be shared through USA Wrestling’s media assets, including its website, its social media outlets, its magazine USA Wrestler, its television show USA Wrestling Weekly as well as through other strategies.

KIDS in the GAME has agreed to consult with USA Wrestling as it selects worthy youth wrestling programs to receive financial support from the organization.

The Jack Pinto Cup will be held at Sports Center I at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, starting at 9:00 a.m. and running through 5:00 p.m. There will be eight rounds of dual meets, with a one-hour break for lunch.

Admission is free for the Jack Pinto Cup, and sports fans are encouraged to attend to see exciting Olympic-caliber wrestling.

The mission of KIDS in the GAME is: Inspiring youth to thrive in life through sports by providing the resources that get and keep kids in the game.

Contributions can be made in honor of Jack by visiting the "Jack Pinto . . . Getting Kids in the Game" donation page at:

At U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colo., January 25, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Session I, four rounds of dual meets
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Break
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Session II, four rounds of dual meets


USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation FILA. Simply, USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.

KIDS In The GAME is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on inspiring kids to thrive in life through sports. KITG is working to fill a gap in the lack of access to sports and exercise an average child in America is experiencing. 70% of kids drop out of playing sports by the age of 12. 62% of American youth ages 9 to 13 do not participate in any organized physical activity during non-school hours primarily because of financial constraints. We provide financial assistance to help youth from low-income families, youth that are physically or mentally challenged, and kids that are "at-risk" gain access to youth sports organization and school athletic programs. We raise awareness of the importance of athletics in developing future leaders, with skills and values that transfer from the sports field into the classroom, workplace, family and community. Find out more at, visit our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @kidsinthegame.