“So do you wrestle for your school? With the boys?”
I get a lot of questions about wrestling, but this one (and ones similar to it) is probably the most commonly asked…
So, here’s some clarification.
The answer is yes, I wrestle for my school, Simon Fraser University. SFU, among many other universities, has a men and a women’s wrestling team. (Follow them on Instagram and Facebook @SFUWrestling) There are about 25 girls on my team from all over the United States and Canada.
Since SFU is an NCAA school, our boys wrestle with the other NCAA schools. Women’s wrestling however is not an NCAA sanctioned sport yet, so the schools with programs formed their own governing body known as the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association or WCWA. This is the organization that puts on our National tournament, and regulates the teams to ensure fairness and equality. There is a National Tournament every year in February, and last year there were over 60 teams competing.
But this year, along with the WCWA tournament, there will be an NCAA tournament as well! Exciting!
This summer, women’s college wrestling earned “emerging sport status“, one of the first steps in introducing it into the NCAA full time. A decision backed by many wrestling organizations including USA Wrestling and the US Olympic Committee as well. Check out this article for more information on that decision.
This is an exciting time for women’s wrestling, and introducing the sport into the NCAA will open doors for women and girls everywhere. Now, girls coming out of high school will not have to choose between a school where they want to go to for academics and a school where they want to go for wrestling. Many times, girls have to look at a school they want to go to, but doesn’t have wrestling, or another school that has it, so they have to choose between the two. Nicole Depa, one of the captains of the SFU wrestling team said that she thinks it is “about time! And it will be a great thing for women’s wrestling and sports in general.” Women’s wrestling is actually the fastest growing sport in the United States, which makes this announcement so exciting for girl wrestlers now and years to come.
These girls who wrestle are amazing. (And yes I may be a little biased) But they have high hopes and dreams, work hard, and create an environment for others to be their best as well. On my team, we have many girls on the National or World team for Canada and the United States, and this year, we have quite a few Olympic Hopefuls.
Another question I get is, “Is there women’s wrestling in the Olympics?”
And to that, I say yes, there is women’s wrestling in the Olympics.
Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in history, and the men have been competing in the Olympics since 708 BC, but the women first competed in the Olympics in 2004. This is the ultimate goal for a lot of women who wrestle, and that is what they are working towards.
So yes, there is a lot going on in realm of women’s wrestling, but just wait; it’s only just begun.