NWCA News

Approval of Grant Money Helping Teach Wrestling and Healthy Living to North Carolina Youth

Tammy Tedesco

11/17/2010 6:11:00 PM

Retired college wrestling coach Paul (PJ) Smith, decided to help build youth wrestling in his local area of North Carolina by being creative. Realizing that the initial cost of a mat is the main prohibiting factor in the growth of wrestling in this extremely poor county; he applied for a grant that would “help pin obesity” an idea he picked up at the National Wrestling Coaches Convention two years ago.  

“The problem I encountered in Robeson County after I retired from college coaching is that we have 6 high schools in our county and only 2 of them had wrestling and we have no junior high wrestling. One of my goals in retirement is to get wrestling started in all six high schools and junior high schools. In the last three years I have been able to get two high schools to start wrestling by getting donations and buying a mat for one. I have gotten the other one to start wrestling using an old mat and we are currently in the process of helping them raise money for a new mat,” said P.J. Smith.

Smith began looking into grants that could possibly fit this mold and then teamed up with Dr. Marion Wooten in the UNC Pembroke HPER Department.  They then approached the Lumbee Tribe Boys and Girls Club about submitting a grant to fight childhood obesity which is an epidemic in the Indian population in their area.

“We wrote a grant to the National Institute of Health through the University and received funding for a new mat, a grad student to run and implement the program as well as some additional equipment for the boys and girls club. The big bonus in this grant is that the mat will be used in at least 6 programs at two schools to promote and encourage wrestling. We currently are beginning implementation of the BRAVE Program this year,” said Smith.

The BRAVE (Body Mass and Resiliency Assessment through Vigorous Exercise) Program for the Boys and Girls Club has a goal to provide physical activity and is designed to decrease percent body fat (measured by body mass index, BMI) and increase resiliency skills.

The BRAVE Program will reach approximately 300 students beginning in the fall of 2010. Participants will be involved in a five to eight week program.

 The study will employ a pre-test, post-test design; data from BMI testing and the Resiliency Attitudes and Skills Profile (RASP) will be compared to assess change.  Each week the participants will engage in three one-hour program sessions, consisting of physical activity tied to the development of resiliency skills. 

Selected program sessions also will integrate information on healthy eating and self-esteem.  One immediate outcome of the program should be lowered BMI for participants.  Improved health and resiliency skills will enable the youth of Robeson County to break the unhealthy cycles into which many were born.  Participation offers youth positive personal development and health benefits, enhancing quality of life now and in the future. 

“The BRAVE Program will be using the NWCA Optimal Performance Calculator as one of their measuring components.  Coach Smith is doing a tremendous job to integrate healthy living standards for North Carolina Youth and at the same time exposing them to the sport of wrestling, which will hopefully be something that they will take with them throughout their life,” said Mike Moyer, Executive Director NWCA.

  • Pin Obesity
  • BRAVE Program

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Approval of Grant Money Helping Teach Wrestling and Healthy Living to North Carolina Youth

by Tammy Tedesco | Nov 17, 2010
Retired college wrestling coach Paul (PJ) Smith, decided to help build youth wrestling in his local area of North Carolina by being creative. Realizing that the initial cost of a mat is the main prohibiting factor in the growth of wrestling in this extremely poor county; he applied for a grant that would “help pin obesity” an idea he picked up at the National Wrestling Coaches Convention two years ago.

Retired college wrestling coach Paul (PJ) Smith, decided to help build youth wrestling in his local area of North Carolina by being creative. Realizing that the initial cost of a mat is the main prohibiting factor in the growth of wrestling in this extremely poor county; he applied for a grant that would “help pin obesity” an idea he picked up at the National Wrestling Coaches Convention two years ago.  

“The problem I encountered in Robeson County after I retired from college coaching is that we have 6 high schools in our county and only 2 of them had wrestling and we have no junior high wrestling. One of my goals in retirement is to get wrestling started in all six high schools and junior high schools. In the last three years I have been able to get two high schools to start wrestling by getting donations and buying a mat for one. I have gotten the other one to start wrestling using an old mat and we are currently in the process of helping them raise money for a new mat,” said P.J. Smith.

Smith began looking into grants that could possibly fit this mold and then teamed up with Dr. Marion Wooten in the UNC Pembroke HPER Department.  They then approached the Lumbee Tribe Boys and Girls Club about submitting a grant to fight childhood obesity which is an epidemic in the Indian population in their area.

“We wrote a grant to the National Institute of Health through the University and received funding for a new mat, a grad student to run and implement the program as well as some additional equipment for the boys and girls club. The big bonus in this grant is that the mat will be used in at least 6 programs at two schools to promote and encourage wrestling. We currently are beginning implementation of the BRAVE Program this year,” said Smith.

The BRAVE (Body Mass and Resiliency Assessment through Vigorous Exercise) Program for the Boys and Girls Club has a goal to provide physical activity and is designed to decrease percent body fat (measured by body mass index, BMI) and increase resiliency skills.

The BRAVE Program will reach approximately 300 students beginning in the fall of 2010. Participants will be involved in a five to eight week program.

 The study will employ a pre-test, post-test design; data from BMI testing and the Resiliency Attitudes and Skills Profile (RASP) will be compared to assess change.  Each week the participants will engage in three one-hour program sessions, consisting of physical activity tied to the development of resiliency skills. 

Selected program sessions also will integrate information on healthy eating and self-esteem.  One immediate outcome of the program should be lowered BMI for participants.  Improved health and resiliency skills will enable the youth of Robeson County to break the unhealthy cycles into which many were born.  Participation offers youth positive personal development and health benefits, enhancing quality of life now and in the future. 

“The BRAVE Program will be using the NWCA Optimal Performance Calculator as one of their measuring components.  Coach Smith is doing a tremendous job to integrate healthy living standards for North Carolina Youth and at the same time exposing them to the sport of wrestling, which will hopefully be something that they will take with them throughout their life,” said Mike Moyer, Executive Director NWCA.

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