Delaware State to host All Girls Wrestling Clinic
by Delaware State Athletics
DOVER, Del. -- Delaware State University in collaboration with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Wrestling Initiative (HBCUW), Wrestle Like a Girl (WLAG), the Black Wrestling Association (BWA), and Division I Women's Wrestling (D1WW), announces it will host an All Girls Wrestling Clinic next month.
Guiding this empowering clinic are olympians, Toccara Montgomery and Randi Miller. Montgomery was the first Black woman to win a medal at the World Championships for the United States, seizing a silver in 2001 in her debut Senior World Championships appearance. She also secured another silver in 2003, competed in the 2002 World Championships, and made history as the first Black woman to wrestle for the United States in the Olympics, finishing seventh in 2004, the year women's wrestling was introduced to the Olympic Games.
Following Montgomery's achievements, Randi Miller, a native of Arlington, Texas, became the first Black woman and Texan to win an Olympic medal (bronze) in women's wrestling during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She was the sole Black woman to win a medal in USA Wrestling until fellow Texan Tamyra Mensah-Stock captured gold in 2021.
Aimed at expanding opportunities for young women in wrestling, DSU Athletic Director, Alecia Shields-Gadson, shared, "Delaware State University (DSU) proudly presents the groundbreaking "All Girls Wrestling Clinic," a transformative event that champions access and opportunity for aspiring female wrestlers. In collaboration with esteemed organizations such as HBCUW, WLAG, BWA, and D1WW, this clinic aims to empower young women with the skills, confidence, and support needed to thrive in the world of wrestling. Join us as we pave the way for a future where gender barriers crumble, and every girl's passion for wrestling is nurtured and celebrated."
Jahi Jones, Executive Director of HBCU Wrestling Initiative, expressed his enthusiasm about the growing interest in girls' wrestling and the event's potential. "Girls wrestling is the fastest-growing sport on the high school level," Jones noted. "I am incredibly excited about the prospect of adding opportunities for women to compete at the highest level while still experiencing the rich cultural offerings that HBCUs provide to their students."
Further emphasizing the significance of women's wrestling, Lori Ayres, Founder D1 Women's Wrestling shared, "The sport of wrestling builds leaders. With over 50,000 high school girls wrestling in the 2022-2023 season, there are plenty of athletes hungry for opportunities on D1 campuses. It's a big deal that Delaware State University is opening up its doors like this and they're smart to do it now A press release from several national wrestling organizations earlier this year stated that women's wrestling has met the criteria to begin to move from NCAA emerging sports status to championship status. All D1 institutions would be wise to familiarize decision makers with women's wrestling. Bravo to Delaware State University for being curious about the sport and its potential for empowering women."
The clinic is part of a larger vision, and it signifies an important step in creating a vibrant and inclusive wrestling community around campus. DSU, along with its partners, believes that fostering leadership through sports like wrestling contributes to holistic student development and will produce leaders who have the potential to change the trajectory of their families, community, and country for the better.
In October 2021, the HBCU Wrestling Initiative marked a significant milestone by partnering to resurrect Morgan State University's wrestling program after a hiatus of 25 years. This restoration represented a significant leap in bringing back Division 1 wrestling to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The organization has since been diligently working with several other HBCUs, including DSU, to revive and establish wrestling programs. These concerted efforts aim to restore a rich tradition of collegiate wrestling within HBCU campuses, contributing to the broader vision of creating additional opportunities and fostering leadership through sports.
The event, free to all participants, is currently scheduled for August 19, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delaware State University's Memorial Hall facility. For more information about the clinic, please visit support.hbcuwrestling.org/dsuwrestlingclinic
About Delaware State University
Delaware State University was founded in 1891 and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Its main location is in Dover, yet DSU offers courses throughout the state of Delaware. Learn more at www.desu.edu
About HBCU Wrestling Initiative
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Wrestling Initiative (HBCUW) seeks to establish and restore wrestling to America's historically black colleges and universities and expand access to opportunities created by wrestling for the black community so as to advance social justice and produce black wrestlers and leaders who have the potential to change the trajectory of their families, community, and country. Through the establishment and restoration of wrestling programs at HBCUs, we aim to expand access to the invaluable life skills, networking opportunities, and career pathways that the sport offers. Learn more at www.hbcuwrestling.org
About Wrestle Like a Girl
Wrestle Like A Girl, a 501(c)3 founded in 2016, is led by Team USA bronze medalist Sally Roberts, with a mission to empower girls and women using the sport of wrestling to become leaders in life. Through Advocacy and Education, Programs, and Research, WLAG leads and supports policies that champion the inclusion of girls and women in wrestling, advocates for a healthier wrestling culture, and leads projects that reduce barriers to entry while increasing opportunities. Learn more at www.wrestlelikeagirl.org
About Black Wrestling Association
Black Wrestling Association (BWA) mission is To Inspire, Connect, and Empower Black Wrestlers and Allies to Grow Wrestling through Representation, Equality, and Opportunity. When founded in 2020, the founding members recognized the need to be efficient and effective in order to create positive change, have a meaningful impact in the wrestling community and provide pathways for maximum success on and off the mats. Learn more at www.blackwrestlingassociation.org/
About D1 Women's Wrestling
D1 Women's Wrestling was established as a resource for wrestlers, families, alumni, and fans to learn how to create and support women's wrestling teams and clubs at NCAA Division 1 institutions. Learn more at www.d1womenswrestling.com/