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Dave Schultz High School Excellence award program expands to include Leadership Camp



The National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum will expand its Dave Schultz High School Excellence program to include a Leadership Camp for those individuals selected for the award from each of the 48 states that sponsors a high school state wrestling championship.

"Thanks to a grant from a private foundation, we are pleased to expand this program and provide the winners of our Dave Schultz award with the opportunity to attend a Leadership Camp at the United States Olympic Training Center from June 18-21, in Colorado Springs, Colo.," said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame which sponsors the award program.

The camp will be hosted and organized at the U.S. Olympic Training Center by USA Wrestling (USAW), the sport's governing body.

"USA Wrestling is equally excited to join the Hall of Fame in fulfilling the requirements of this program by providing a World Class program at the Olympic Training Center for the student-athletes chosen to participate in this camp," said Rich Bender, USAW Executive Director. "The camp agenda will include instructional sessions with our freestyle and Greco Roman national coaches and wrestlers, and will also feature presentations on sport psychology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, leadership development, and public speaking presented by experts in the field."

Part of the foundation's funding criteria requires that, after the camp, the award winners speak to at-risk youth in their communities on the benefits of participating in extra curricular activities like athletics.

Smith said the leadership and public speaking sessions will help the student-athletes prepare to fulfill this responsibility.

"These student-wrestlers are role models in their communities and have an opportunity to influence young people in a very meaningful way. Statistics show that both male and female students are more likely to stay in school, graduate, and become more productive citizens when they are involved in extra curricular activities and after school programs like sports, art, debate and music," he said.

The Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award is given in memory Dave Schultz, a World and Olympic Champion who died in 1996. The award, presented annually since 1996, is given to a high school senior who demonstrates outstanding wrestling success, scholastic achievement and citizenship. Award winners are selected in April for each state, and from those, regional and national winners are chosen. The national winner is invited to attend and receive the award at Honors Weekend in June in Stillwater, Okla.

"The award and Leadership Camp program reflects the organization's commitment to the third prong of our mission statement; to inspire the youth of our land to lofty goals," Smith said.

"We are pleased to partner with the Hall of Fame to introduce so many of our nation's top student-wrestlers to the Olympic movement while helping them develop as leaders," Bender added. "We also feel these young people will effectively convey the values of wrestling to at-risk youth and inspire them to seek an activity or program they can excel in."

More information about the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Awards and Leadership Camp can be found on the NWHOF&M website at www.wrestlinghalloffame.org or by calling 405-377-5243.
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