NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- An all girls wrestling tournament is back in town this week with competitors from 23 states, Japan, France and Canada.
Beat the Streets, a sports based youth development organization for middle and high school students, hosted the first Gotham City All Girls freestyle tournament six years ago with just 100 girls in a small gym in Brooklyn.
This years event being held at Pratt Institute on April 19 and 20 and will bring in 1,500 competitors, coaches and spectators over the course of the two days.
Emma Randall, the girls development coordinator and head coach of Beat The Streets NYC, told City Views host Sharon Barnes-Waters about the reason they started this competition.
“Gotham City started because there really wasn’t an avenue where girls wrestling was the center focus, where they were center stage, where they were valued as a highlight within itself. They didn’t need to be beside the men or in the corner in the gym,” Randall said.
And now the event has grown tremendously
“Its kind of just evolved from this small event into this large event, and were getting all Americans, state teams from all their different national teams and other countries are interested in participating,” Randall said.
Competing in this year's tournament is Beat The Streets NYC wrestler Arham Alrowmeim, an 18 year old high school student who became a folksyle and freestyle champion a year after beginning wrestling in 2017.
How is she preparing for this competition?
“I wrestle hard in practice and just transform it as best I can in a match, not thinking about the girls title or where she came from or anything,” she said.
And while some may watch their competitors on YouTube, Arham says, “better than watching it, just do it!”
Friday's tournament begins at 10:30 a.m. for girls ages 8 to 14.
At the end of the day, World Champion and 2X Olympian Elena Pirozhkova and World Bronze Midlist Lee James will come in to“teach and connect with our girls and share their opportunities in this sports,” Randall said.
The High School kids take to the mat on Saturday for their competition.
While Gotham City All Girls freestyle tournament is free to the public, there will be a suggested donation box at the door.
To find out more about this event and Beat The Streets NYC, go to www.btsny.org.