FOREST CITY, IOWA –The young ladies of the Forest City got a special treat last Sunday, Oct. 22 - a free women’s wrestling clinic at Hanson Fieldhouse.
The Waldorf University women’s wrestling team put on a free clinic for girls aged 7-12, with the objective being one that allows girls to feel comfortable showing off their skills on the mat.
Although the sport of wrestling can be played by men or women nowadays, the stereotype of wrestling being meant for men is still very prevalent in American society.
Waldorf women’s wrestling assistant coach Gabrielle Lord-Klein would like to change that mindset.
“The clinic was great because it showed the young girls of our community that women can wrestle, too,” said Klein in her first year as the assistant coach. “We’re trying to set a foundation in the Forest City area that girls can play any sport that they want to, regardless of stereotypes.”
The clinic ran from 1-3 p.m., and it was a clinic more about building comradery with the Forest City community than about teaching mere fundamentals pertaining to the sport.
Head coach Tyreece Gilder had his own players show off the basic techniques of an amateur women’s wrestler, and the young players followed suit by replicating those techniques.
“The event went well! I think the girls really enjoyed themselves,” said Gilder. “I know our team did.”
After showing off the basic techniques of college wrestlers, the Waldorf University women’s wrestling team shared stories of what it was like growing up as a women’s wrestler and the challenges of playing a sport that’s not as common as youth soccer, softball, basketball, cross country, track and field, and even lacrosse.
“It was a well-structured clinic because the storytelling section (of the clinic) allowed girls to understand that we also struggled with the somewhat negative feedback as kids,” added Klein. “However, we love wrestling, and when we were kids, we didn’t let people put us down because we love wrestling and wanted to become better at it.”
The clinic ended with board games between players and girl attendees. There was also free food and drink. If you would like to learn more about how your daughter can get involved with the great sport of wrestling, please contact Tyreece Gilder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Waldorf University women’s wrestling team continues its season by competing in the Can-Am Open in Jamestown, N.D. on Nov. 4.