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Organizers sought to offer the Dan Gable Folkstyle Challenge in their community



Dan Gable's name is synonymous to excellence in wrestling. The legendary athlete who turned into a champion coach still inspires an ever-growing population enthralled with the sport of wrestling. Many wrestling fans admiringly speak of the stories that they've heard about "Gable" as an aura of intensity surrounds him. The legend of Gable is something that people know will help build the sport.

USA Wrestling, with the permission of Dan Gable, has a special program available that will help local organizers, state associations, and regions develop an exciting series of events.

The Dan Gable Folkstyle Challenge, in its second year of existence, is again being offered to grass-roots tournament organizers nationally. The Gable Challenge program gives organizers a tremendous ability to develop the series in ways that would best fit the needs of the local wrestling community.

According to Mark Scott, Director of State Services, "This program keeps control of local events in the hands of the grass-roots community; yet, it connects each participant in these events with a tremendous wrestling hero."

The tournament series is innovative in two ways. First, every participant at registration receives a gift for attending the tournament. Secondly, the tournaments are connected by totalling points for wrestlers to see who becomes the points champion at the end of the series.

Kevin Hansen, Manager of Junior Olympic Programming, oversees the Gable Challenge program for USA Wrestling.

"The gifts that are given are a tremendous value to the kids," said Hanson. "Last year wrestlers received, for example, highlight DVDs, wrestling trading cards, and a poster set. The wrestlers and parents loved getting something as a part of the entry fee."

Connecting the tournaments together into a point-totaling series also develops better marketing of the events.

"Each of these tournaments in the series have a natural link with the other clubs that are running the events," said. Hansen. "Working together, these tournaments really can be premiere events for a state or region."

The Gable Challenge Series is ambitiously moving forward with many more states committed to offering the innovative program to grass-roots wrestlers. Interested club leaders that would like to see the Gable Folkstyle Challenge brought to their area are encouraged to contact Kevin Hansen at khansen@usawrestling.org for more information.
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