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Mo Lawal featured clinician at Milwaukee kids clinic, April 15

In an attempt to promote wrestling in inner-city Milwaukee, USA Wrestling is proud to partner with City Kids Wrestling Club and Ringers Wrestling Club in sponsoring a wrestling clinic for USA Wrestling members. U.S. National Team member and 2005 World Team member Mo Lawal of the Gator WC will be the featured clinician.

The clinic will be held at Milwaukee Pius XI High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday, April 15. The school is located at 135 N. 76th St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"Doing this clinic in Milwaukee is a great opportunity for USA Wrestling and me to positively impact youth," said Lawal, when asked about the opportunity to be part of a grassroots clinic for USA Wrestling. "I want to help as many people have the same opportunity in wrestling as I can."

Lawal is a current U.S. National Team member, and trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Co.. In 2005, he placed 7th at the Freestyle World Championships at 84 kg/185 lbs.. Beginning with the 2007 season, Lawal moved up to 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Before his arrival on the U.S. freestyle scene, Lawal was a Division II NCAA Champion for Central Oklahoma, and Division I NCAA All-American for Oklahoma State.

The clinic will feature technique instruction from Lawal, but he will also talk to the wrestlers about the impact wrestling has had in his life.

Admission to the clinic is free for all City Kids and Ringers members and $10 for all other USA Wrestling members. USA Wrestling membership cards will be available on-site for $30. For additional information and to sign up for the clinic, please contact Jim Schmitz at 414.248.7407. Space is limited to the first 50 wrestlers.

City Kids, which incorporated in August 2006, was organized by Ferriez Johnson, Hawks Wrestling Club, Jim Schmitz, Ringers and Rudy Ruiz, head coach of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, among others. Before incorporation of the club, the efforts of the same individuals were already focused on wrestling in Milwaukee. The USA Wrestling sanctioned club is instrumental in promoting wrestling to Milwaukee youth.

The club, which also effectively teaches life skills to its wrestlers, has received donations and grants from the Milwaukee County Youth Sports Authority and Private Industry Council. However, the largest contributor to the City Kids has been the Fighting Back Program, an anti-drug and alcohol initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Nearly 100 wrestlers and 12 coaches are members of the City Kids. The club has implemented a program that will ensure all coaches at the four sites of club practice will use the same wrestling training system. All coaches from the club are required to be certified to teach Life Skills - a nationally recognized program to improve decision-making skills by youth.

Roger Quindel, the coach at Milwaukee Custer High School, has also been a key component to the success of City Kids. Since wrestling was revived at Custer in 2000, Roger notes, "Custer has graduated 100% of the wrestlers who have stayed with the program through their senior year - 99 wrestlers by June 2007." This is in stark contrast to the graduation rate of 45% for Milwaukee public schools as reported by the Manhattan Institute.

One City Kids wrestler had this to say about the wrestling club: "I am so grateful that the drug rehab program I was in told me about wrestling. It hasn't been easy to change my life, and my friends, but wrestling brought out the strengths in me and really saved my life." He went on saying, "And as unreal as it seems, I am going to graduate on time this year."

Another City Kids member said, "Until about a year ago, I never even considered the possibility that I wouldn't go to jail like everyone in my family. Now I know that won't happen to me. I have dreams about a good life and wrestling has given me the strength to make sure that happens."

Because of the success of City Kids, several research doctors in the Milwaukee area intend to seek a grant for a long-term study (5 years) on the impact of wrestling on the physical, mental, and social well-being of youth. This study would potentially generate invaluable information regarding the importance of wrestling in our society.

Click here for clinic flier.
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