As many of you, the wrestling family and community know, there is a lack of safe wrestling space for High School, Middle School and Youth Wrestlers.
The Fennimore Wrestling Association has been working to find a long term solution to this issue. Space and safety have been a concern for some time. This past season, additional safety concerns arose which require immediate action going forward.
The Fennimore Wrestling program has been very successful on and off the mat. More students participate every year. Estimates for next year are 32 High School, 30 Middle School and 85 youth. This means growing numbers of our student athletes need safe, adequate space to train.
The FWA board will be addressing the issues listed below and requesting action at an upcoming school board meeting. We are hoping to work together with the district to find a solution.
Issues being addressed are lack of space and unsafe practice facilities.
1. Shed practice was shut down mid-season due to mold.
2. Because of the loss of the shed, middle school and youth wrestling practices were cancelled or relocated nightly to high school or Memorial Building. These are not long term solutions as there is no committed space available for regularly scheduled practice. There is currently no plan in place for the upcoming season to remedy this situation.
3. The “L” shape High School wrestling room is hazardous. Several injuries have been directly related to running into the Corner created by the “L”.
4. One full size “circle” or competition mat does not fit in the wrestling room. Adequate practice space would require fourcompetition size mats or 3200-4000 square feet in the shape of a rectangle.
5. Because of crowding current space of approximately 2200 square feet and “L” shape of the room, wrestlers are forced to roll and run into walls while sprinting and wrestling live. The force of the wrestlers’ bodies hitting the walls is causing unnecessary injuries, including concussions,and broken bones.
o Multiple documented injuries of athletes have occurred o Multiple documented injuries of coaches have occurred
6. The force of the wrestlers’ bodies hitting the matted walls is actually causing floor to ceiling cracks in the interior and exterior walls and separations from the foundation. Imagine the force on their bodies with or without the visible injuries that are reported.
7. The High School wrestling room lacks sufficient size and shape to accommodate even half of the team at a time. Twelve of thirty High School wrestlers can safely wrestle at one time. Practices have been staggered. Remember, many of these young men are the size or bigger than average adult men. This is a contact sport. Throwing, lifting and tackling are expected in less than a 10 x 10 space which is the equivalent of an area rug. There is never an opportunity for this team to practice as a whole.
As FWA parents and guardians, when addressing this issue with administration, we were told that there is an inherent riskof injury while participating in any sport, including wrestling which is to be expected. A failure by Fennimore schools to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury to a student-athlete, coach, spectator, official, or other party is negligent.
WIAA and USA wresting does not take responsibility or accept liability for injuries caused by conditions of the practicespace when it is the cause of injury. This is not inherent risk of athletics. It is the duty of the district to minimize known riskand to take action to provide and maintain safe and adequate conditions for all interscholastic athletics to occur. We areconcerned for the safety and well-being of our children and are requesting immediate action to rectify the current issueslisted above with long term solutions prior to the upcoming season 2019-2020.
Thank you for your ongoing support~
Sincerely,Fennimore Wrestling Association