Building Champions for Tomorrow
The OKC Youth Wrestling Foundation exists to build relationships between at-risk youth and caring role models through the sport of wrestling. Through the relationships built, we seek to influence each child’s behavior by teaching and modeling positive character. We exist because at-risk kids need:
Drug use, gang participation, and other negative behavior are common in the neighborhoods we target. Positive activities - like athletic teams - are not. Kids who participate in extracurricular activities are less likely than their peers to abuse drugs, yet underprivileged kids often can’t participate due to a lack of financial resources or parent support. Instead of leaving kids to the streets, we remove barriers to participation such as uniforms and transportation so that any child can pursue a constructive activity during their out-of-school time.
Many of the children in our program come from homes characterized by instability - families move often, boyfriends come and go, the electricity may not be on some weeks. We believe one of the greatest needs of at-risk children is a stable relationship with a caring adult. Our leaders prioritize building and maintaining relationships with kids in our programs. We seek to overcome behaviors and circumstances that threaten to destroy relationships by investing in frequent activities and providing transportation.
Male and Female Role Models
Single-parent homes are the norm in inner city communities, and very few homes include the child’s father. We connect boys with positive, safe male role
models through wrestling, allowing children to see appropriate expressions of masculinity in the context of positive character. Meanwhile, we teach character at every practice and mentoring session using the “Character First” system, but we believe our actions are the most important lesson. Our coaches, girls’ leaders, and mentors seek to demonstrate Christ-like character in every action.