Monday, November 2, 2009

Gable, Irving and Baldwin say, "California Needs Wrestling".

A Press release from the National Wrestling Coaches Association

“SANTA MONICA (Oct. 30, 2009) – Author John Irving and actor Billy Baldwin will join Olympic wrestling legend Dan Gable at a luncheon on Monday, Nov. 2, in support of the California Needs Wrestling initiative.

The three will speak to the need for supporters of the sport to mount an effort to sustain college wrestling programs in California, where the state budget crisis has left many collegiate programs in dire need of funding.

Irving, a University of Pittsburgh wrestler, and Baldwin, a Binghamton University Wrestler, who was instrumental in bringing wrestling back at Binghamton University after the sport was dropped, will speak to the role of the sport in helping to shape their lives.

Irving, whose novels include The World According to Garp and Cider House Rules, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992. He is currently touring to promote his new book, Last Night in Twisted River.

Baldwin joined the crusade to restore wrestling at his alma mater after the university announced it was dropping the sport in 2003. With the help of Friends of Binghamton Wrestling and New York’s then-Gov. George Pataki, the program was restored the following year. Last March, Baldwin was on hand to applaud Binghamton’s first Division I All-American, Josh Patterson.

Gable has devoted his life to the sport as an athlete, coach and advocate. A 1972 Olympic freestyle wrestling champion, he went on to coach the University of Iowa to an unprecedented 15 NCAA team championships and is now Iowa’s assistant athletic director.

“Wrestling in California needs our help,” said Gable. “There are approximately 27,000 high school wrestlers in the state of California and only eight four-year college wrestling programs to support the exploding interest at the high school level. These programs are fighting to survive as California has already lost 85 college programs.”

The luncheon is being held to:

· Provide head college wrestling coaches in California with an opportunity to cultivate some of their most important alumni/donors and or key decision-making university administrators. This is particularly important in light of the current state budget crisis in the state of California.

· Help college administrators recognize the educational value of wrestling through the testimonials of highly successful wrestling aficionados.

· Promote the “NWCA All Star Classic, Presented by the Wrestling Alumni of the College of William and Mary,” scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton. The event is a fundraiser for the Cal State Fullerton wrestling program.

The wrestling alumni from William and Mary have established the non-profit Society for the Preservation of Traditional Sport (SPOTS). Its mission is to help save wrestling and other traditional Olympic sport programs before such programs are cut.”

Also – from an article by Alden Mudge on BookPage.com about John Irving’s new book Last Night in Twisted River:

“John Irving did not actually attend his induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, some 15 years ago. But now he wishes he had. ‘I regret it.’… ‘There have always been these two parts of my life and they don’t overlap very easily. My wrestling friends are not very easily mixed with my writing friends. But it’s an honor that meant a great deal to me because the sport was such a huge part of my life,’ says Irving, who competed in wrestling in high school and college.”

Best wishes for a highly successful luncheon.

1 comment:

University said...

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University of Northern Iowa