Grand County High School is hosting its first-ever youth wrestling camp exclusively for girls. It will run Feb. 21 to 25 and is open to girls in pre-K to eighth grade.
“The program hopes to create interest and participation in the sport,” said Lillian Scott, event coordinator for the camp and a student at GCHS. Cayden Black, business teacher and coach of the Devils Youth Wrestling Program, saw a need for an individual girls wrestling program that could provide a gateway for girls wanting to wrestle in high school, Scott said.
Marek Relph will coach the camp along with Vice-Principal Miranda Black. In March 2021, Relph became the first girl from GCHS to ever compete at a state wrestling tournament. Geneva Gray, the women’s director at USA Wrestling Utah, will guest coach for a day.
“It’s a great group of all-female coaches,” Scott said. The coaches can provide “examples of what these girls can accomplish and more.”
A study conducted in 2019 by the National Federation of State High School Associations found that nationwide, girls in wrestling make up around 10% of total participants. At the time of the study, there were 21,124 girls wrestling, compared to 247,441 boys. Currently, four of the 54 wrestlers in the Red Devils Youth Wrestling Program are girls.
“We are very excited about the numbers [the camp] could bring in,” said Cayden Black. His goal is to register at least 20 girls for the camp.
“Wrestling is a great opportunity for girls to engage in a fast-growing sport with college-level opportunities,” Scott said. “It’s also one of the fastest-growing women’s sports at scholastic and collegiate levels, so getting girls exposed to it now is a huge step forward for sports in Moab and America alike.”
Anyone interested in the sport is encouraged to sign up, Scott said. There will be a balance of beginner skills and technique-building for experienced wrestlers.
The camp is $30, and will run from Feb. 21to 25 starting at 4 p.m. each day in the gym at Margaret L. Hopkin Middle School. To sign up, contact the coaches by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting 435-210-0739.
“Making sure that these girls have an experience under their belts that feels empowering is indescribably important,” Scott said. “We want them to feel seen, prioritized, and give something to teach them that no matter where you start, you can always get better and keep growing. Break the glass ceiling!”