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Female Elite Wrestling offers opportunity

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Once a week school age girls travel from all over the state to sharpen their skills at this Female Elite Wrestling practice at the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo. 

  The practices are run by Coach Anthony Watson a Waterloo native and a former Iowa Hawkeye Wrestler. Watson was a 3-Time State Finalist and Former State champion. Charlotte Bailey who has a daughter wrestling collegiately-- started Female Elite Wrestling to create opportunities for girls who have an interest in the sport.

Bailey says, "They were interested in the sport but not necessarily interested in going to a boys club practice where there more experienced wrestlers. so when we opened the first Female Elite practice there were 22 girls and a lot of enthusiasm. "

One of the emerging young stars of the Iowa Elite Wrestling team is 12 year-old Jayden Bentley.

Jayden does well competing in boys competitions and then last week she captured a National title in Oklahoma City. Jayden who was introduced to wrestling by her father Jake.... she says wrestling is tough--but she loves it.

Jayden says, "It's like a challenge and you have to put yourself up to it and you have to work really hard for it because if you want it you have to work for it." 

Anthony Watson's six year-old daughter Daneisha started wrestling two years ago---And now you can call her National Champion-

But beyond these girls winning medals at tournaments--- Bailey says its about giving these young girls an opportunity to compete in the sport they love-- Wrestling.

"When we embrace and have an inclusive sport...and we take those values and say everyone in our population deserves to have to learn that and deserves to have those opportunities everybody wins"

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