Sunnyvale Wrestling Club was founded by teacher coaches who believe that the lessons of life can not be taught solely in the classroom. The club's mission is not simply wrestling based, wrestling is what we know. It is the vehicle for change in the perceptions of what education is, and what education should be. The mission has evolved over time as we have consistently watched our education system not provide the opportunities necessary to keep our youth engaged. This lack of engagement occurs at a higher percentage in our low income, minority, and low educational background households. In order to have a positive impact on our community as teachers and coaches we have decided to combat this problem in the best way we know how, the way that worked for us, and the way that is research based to work for the many. That way is an increase of co-curricular programing in Sunnyvale Elementary School District leading to the programing options of Fremont High School District. Students disengagement occurs at the same time interventions have greatest impact, 3rd to 6th grade, and we have begun to take steps to increase wrestling's programing options in Sunnyvale, through the school system.
This year we launched the Sunnyvale Youth Wrestling League in partnership with Sunnyvale Elementary School District. This program was a 6 week intro to wrestling for 5 elementary schools in the district (Lakewood, San Miguel, Bishop, Ellis, and Vargas). Over 130 students participated in the league, which ran practices and competitions 3 days a week at each school site. This program continues to develop a system of wrestling in Sunnyvale Schools, which now starts as early as 3rd grade. Participation from students gives them another opportunity to gain valued mentorship from an adult in a desired activity. Participation was not compulsory for these students, this is crucial. Providing a series of after school programming teaching skills like work ethic, resilience, overcoming adversity, and developing character that are accessible by all students is a must in any education system. We hope to expand this programing and use it as a model for other passionate people to develop their own programs teaching the skills that they love.
Lastly, a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 4 years leading to this moment. A special thanks to Frank Shamrock, Mark Munoz, and Jake Herbert for coming out to be a part of the Sunnyvale Youth Wrestling League and to the league's sponsors, Footwear Etc., Warren Newsome and David Allen Rivas of Century 21st Real Estate, UFC Gym Sunnyvale, Sunnyvale Host Lions Club, and Infinite Leadership Development.