A Change Agent in the Male-Dominated Sport of Wrestling: Part 2

Have you read about my journey to becoming a change agent in the world of wrestling? It’s one I’m proud to share for your benefit and inspiration. Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, I wanted to offer my story for the larger takeaways you can install into your own pursuits.

Click here to read the story of how I was able to make a difference.

But even after the overwhelming experience of seeing several parts of what I have dreamed come true…

  • The start of one of the first all-female wrestling teams in the state (Olentangy Orange Girls Wrestling Team)
  • The first all-girls dual meet where Olentangy Orange defeated Miami East
  • First girls state wrestling tournament

…I know my work is not done.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has not sanctioned female wrestling yet. And even though the number of wrestlers and teams that participated at the girls’ high school state wrestling tournament was astounding (234 athletes and 95 teams), those numbers need to continue to increase.

I would love to sit back and celebrate these wins! But they are just a few accomplishments in a much larger vision. We have to take hold of this momentum that we have right now and use it to our advantage. People at all levels of wrestling, and outside the sport, are excited about what was accomplished this year, but if we don’t keep moving forward, this change might not flourish.

We need to continue to advocate for these girls that are pioneers in a male-dominated sport. We need to provide a safe environment for them to practice, grow and participate in wrestling with other females if we want the numbers of participants to rise.

Although there have been some incredible opportunities that I have been offered recently, I feel I am where I belong, being a fierce advocate for these girls from a young age to high school. I also think it is essential to share my knowledge of wrestling with the next generation. My mission hasn’t changed.  I still want to change the environment and culture of wrestling. I just feel I can do a better job at it as a coach.

Our next step is to celebrate and communicate these short-term wins. Then re-evaluate what we have accomplished and make sure our vision, mission and plan are still aligned with the final goal: to have a sanctioned separate division for female wrestlers.

So yes, let’s celebrate all the successes this year. But let’s not forget we have only won a few battles, not the war.

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.