The Melee on the Metro 4 tournament highlighted the toughest wrestlers in the District as high schoolers battled to obtain the top spot on the podium, but this year, 20 youth wrestlers got the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of a crowd thanks to Beat the Streets DC. “I’m excited about the partnership with Melee on the Metro and the exposure was really great” said President of Wrestling to Beat the Streets DC (WBTS DC), Geary FitzPatrick, who also manned an informative table throughout the duration of Melee on the Metro 4 tournament.
Beat the Streets is best known for their international wrestling tournament in New York City every summer which includes Olympic champions and world team members, but there are also 11 other BTS programs throughout the country in most big cities. The DC program is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2013 and is “committed to serving children and teenagers in underserved communities by teaching the values and benefits of wrestling.” according to their website.
Geary FitzPatrick has high hopes for a bright future for DC wrestling and hopes to restore wrestling in public schools in DC. FitzPatrick, inducted as the President in June 2018, stated in the past year, middle school wrestling participation has doubled, and two new programs have been added, totaling seven middle school wrestling programs in DC. WBTS DC also provides clinics and demonstrations for youth wrestlers to help grow the sport. FitzPatrick stated these events are “good for the sport and good for the students to get the opportunity to wrestle.
FitzPatrick has three major goals for the organization and the community. First, get high school wrestling restored in the DC public school system. Second, supplement wrestling programs with mentoring and tutoring. Third, dramatically increase the number of young women wrestling in DC.
If you are interested in learning more about Beat the Streets DC and helping their organization, their website has information about getting involved here: http://www.wrestlingbts-dc.org/