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|OURWAY affiliates with USA Wrestling to better serve its youth wrestlers in Ohio
Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
OURWAY, the Ohio United Regional Wrestling Association for Youth, has decided to affiliate with USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States. OURWAY will now provide USA Wrestling membership and services for its participants starting with the 2012-13 season.
OURWAY, has a complete program of wrestling competitions and activity, serving between 1,500-2,000 athletes of ages five through high school across the entire state. The organization has been in existence for seven years and is growing.
There are many reasons why OURWAY’s teaming up with USA Wrestling makes sense for Ohio wrestlers. A key factor was USA Wrestling’s roll out of a new and innovative membership program, which provides athletes a choice of three different levels of membership including the $15 folkstyle package with twice the coverage of previous insurance. The fact that Ohio-USA Wrestling is supporting all styles of wrestling, not just folkstyle wrestling at all levels was another important factor. This level of service extends nationwide to ALL 50 states through USA Wrestling’s regional and national programs.
USA Wrestling offers so much more to Ohio wrestlers than other organizations. It is a well established, stable, well organized grass roots organization, with 190,000 + members. With its inclusion of girls divisions, being in ALL 50 states that advance to a National Championship for both boys and girls, create the highest quality of competition available for all. Being the Olympic governing body, OURWAY wrestlers can now have dreams of being an Olympic Champion.
Moving forward, OURWAY provides a series of four Regional tournaments, traditionally hosted in late February and early March, with a State Championships held at the end of March at the Nutter Center in Dayton. The group hosts a variety of other competitions during the year, including dual meet tournaments. OURWAY is excited to work with USA Wrestling to expand opportunities with not only travel dual teams, State and national dual meet tournaments, the addition of girls divisions, but the opportunity to advance to a national tournament that includes ALL 50 states. Partnering with USA Wrestling will open these opportunities to many more wrestlers who are existing USA Wrestling members in the state.
Working together towards the common good of wrestling in Ohio has all involved excited about the future.
“One of our goals is to make Ohio the premier wrestling state in the country,” said Carl Caywood founder of OURWAY. “OURWAY has not had freestyle and Greco-Roman events. Now we can encourage our kids to participate in the existing freestyle and Greco-Roman opportunities in Ohio. Existing USA Wrestling members will be welcome now to enter our folkstyle events also. We have all got a lot of room to grow in the future.”
“With OURWAY joining with us, it makes our state stronger on all levels, especially on the Kids and Schoolboy levels,” said Chris Kallai, state chairperson with USA Wrestling-Ohio. “This will help all kids in the state. There will be new people with new ideas to share their thoughts and provide better programs for more wrestlers. With our insurance benefits, I feel good that all those kids will be getting better coverage along with more opportunities.”
Les Gutches, USA Wrestling’s Director of Program Development, looks forward to building the new relationship.
"I'm excited because it's so positive for everyone involved. USA Wrestling-Ohio will benefit from OURWAY’S tournament operations expertise and its innovative approach to event promotion. The participants in the OURWAY state championships will now have access to expanded competitive opportunities, a safe environment with background screened coaches, and the security of USA Wrestling’s marquee insurance coverage. Additionally, these athletes will now be part of the Olympic movement, with access to the same developmental programs and coaches that helped produce two Olympic champions and two bronze medals this summer at the London Games," said Gutches.
USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender welcomes OURWAY to the USA Wrestling family.
"USA Wrestling is proud and excited to grow our reach and presence in a wrestling hotbed like the state of Ohio. Providing second-to-none service to our existing and new members will certainly be our goal,” said Bender.
OURWAY is finalizing its plans for the 2012-13 season, and will be announcing its schedule of events and activities for this year. Those interested should visit the OURWAY website and contact the organization directly with questions and needs.
USA Wrestling – Ohio website
TheMat.com, USA Wrestling's website
Our mission is to develop opportunities to advance the sport of wrestling by uniting Ohio's Leagues and giving youth wrestlers the opportunity to learn the sport at all levels. Through a united purpose and standard criteria, Ohio's wrestlers will be able to compete at the highest levels nationally. OURWAY’s mission includes the development of sportsmanship, leadership, and character. Wrestling teaches more character building skills than many other sports. It teaches how to win and lose gracefully; to always give 100%; and if you’re knocked down, you always get back up and NEVER QUIT. It teaches leadership, work ethic, self-discipline, teamwork, delayed gratification, responsibility, honor and respect. Too many kids in society today lack these attributes. We feel our sport develops a winning attitude in wrestlers that builds confidence, self-respect, and pride. All these attributes are key components of success and prepares them to meet all of life’s challenges.
OURWAY desires to invest in Ohio youth wrestling by providing unprecedented opportunities to compete in centrally located, state of the art facilities, at state and national levels. Membership fees will be utilized to further Ohio youth wrestling at a “grass roots” level. Top-notch awards and state of the art venues will provide unparalleled opportunities for our wrestlers.