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USA Wrestling declares March 2-8 as Women’s Wrestling Week

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Feb. 20, 2015, 12:25 p.m. (ET)

Women’s freestyle action from the 2014 USA Wrestling Cadet National championships in Fargo, N.D. by John Sachs,

USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States, has declared the week of March 2-8 as Women’s Wrestling Week in the United States.

This new initiative is in cooperation with the Super 8 campaign for women’s wrestling, which was created by the international wrestling federation United World Wrestling. The campaign concludes on March 8 at the Women’s World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Helen Maroulis, a two-time World medalist for the United States, is one of the eight international ambassadors for the Super 8 program, and is a strong supporter of Women’s Wrestling Week in the United States.

“I want to help women’s wrestling grow. It has been life-changing for me, and I believe it can be that way for so many more girls. We would like to see people within wrestling bring a sister, a mother, a girl friend to a wrestling tournament or practice, to help raise awareness for the opportunities in the sport,” said Maroulis.

As part of Women’s Wrestling Week, any female athlete who is not a member of USA Wrestling is invited to come out and try the sport at a chartered club practice. USA Wrestling will provide a complimentary membership for March 2-7, the time covered by Women’s Wrestling Week.

USA Wrestling chartered clubs have been encouraged to allow females of all ages to attend their practice free of charge during World Wrestling Week. To find a club program in your area, visit the link below:

Additionally, female athletes with prior wrestling experience who would like to participate in a USA Wrestling sanctioned event may do so on both weekends of March 8-9 and March 15-16.

Athletes who will attend practices or events with the complimentary membership are asked to confirm their attendance in advance with the club leader or event host before going to the activity.

United World Wrestling has also established the hashtag #EachOneBringOne for its Super 8 campaign. In support of this effort, USA Wrestling is designing a PDF form that may be printed and filled out with club location and practice times to be given to females in their community. This invitation will allow those already involved in wrestling to reach out to young women who have not yet participated in the sport.

“I am excited to join our amazing female athletes and USA Wrestling leaders in kicking off Women’s History Month with a week focused on introducing more girls and women to wrestling and its athletes. Together we can ensure that all American girls have access to wrestling and the opportunity to benefit from the discipline, confidence and grit that participation in wrestling develops in each individual,” said Kyra Barry, U.S. Women’s Team Leader.

“Women’s Wrestling Week is important because there are a lot of coaches, athletes and parents who don’t know about the opportunities we have in this country for women in wrestling. In recent years, it has been the fastest growing sport on the high school level. We have over 20 college programs and are growing. There are opportunities on the Cadet and Junior levels to make teams and travel with Team USA. We have a pretty successful Senior Women’s Team. We will be even stronger as we increase our numbers and our opportunities,” said National Women’s Coach Terry Steiner.

“Wrestling teaches the most amazing life lessons. We are excited that more girls and young women will learn about our sport during Women’s Wrestling Week. We need to continue to create more opportunity for women in wrestling,” said Patricia Fox, chair of USA Wrestling’s Women’s Age-Group Council.

“This is a special opportunity to continue to build and grow women’s wrestling in our nation. USA Wrestling is committed to being inclusive, and is proud to invite young women to try our sport. We understand the tremendous potential for growth that women’s wrestling provides and are excited about its future,” said USA Wrestling President James Ravannack.

As part of her leadership during Super 8, Helen Maroulis is encouraging the wrestling community to post photos, videos and comments about the sport during Women’s Wrestling Week using #Super8, #EachOneBringOne, Wrestle#LikeAGirl and #USAWrestling. Maroulis will be at the Women’s World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia during Women’s Wrestling Week, and competing in the event at 55 kg/121 lbs. on March 7-8.

As part of Women’s Wrestling Week, USA Wrestling will be providing daily features on great American women’s freestyle wrestlers through its media platforms, to highlight the rich heritage of women’s wrestling in our nation and educate the public about the history of women’s wrestling.

“We are excited to announce these exciting initiatives to celebrate and promote Women’s Wrestling. USA Wrestling is committed to providing every single American youth with the opportunity to experience wrestling, both male and female. Males have long had great opportunities to experience the sport. Through these and other existing programs, young girls will be given additional quality opportunities to get on the mat. America needs wrestling now as much as ever, and that goes for women and men alike. The Super 8 Campaign, led by the International Wrestling Federation, celebrates and further encourages girls and women around the globe to become wrestlers. These are exciting times as we see a ground-swell of support to make our sport available to all,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director.

More information on other programs and activities during Women’s Wrestling Week will be provided in the upcoming days.