Athletic kids are happy kids

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 26, 2004

Everyone knows that children need to be active. That's a simple fact of life, such as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, and all that good stuff.

Active children also tend to lead healthier lives than those who are not so active. According to a study conducted by CNN, regular exercise and activity helps children control their weight and build strong bones. It protects their heart and may benefit their mental health as well. Active children are healthier, stronger, do better in school and sleep better. And according to CNN grow up to be better adults.

What's the best way for children to become productive and active at the same time?

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Have them play sports. Usually in the winter months sports options become limited to basketball and, well, basketball.

Some people aren't designed for basketball and believe me, I know about things like this.

I fall into that category because you don't see that many short and round basketball stars.

But for children in Greenville who are like this writer, there is finally an option for them to get physical with something other than their PS2 controller.

The Greenville YMCA is starting an amateur wrestling program. It's going to be the real sport, not the sports-entertainment variety that comes on Spike TV every Monday night. There will be no Stone Cold Stunners, Pedigrees or People's Elbows.

Next to soccer, the sport of wrestling is probably the most physically demanding sport there is. It has roots in the original Greek Olympics and is still a very important part of the Summer Olympiad every four years.

The sport of wrestling teaches children discipline, self-esteem, how to stay in shape and how to think when they are getting tired. And if coached right, it teaches children how to both win and lose with dignity.

At the start of the match, the two opponents shake hands and then at the end of the match they do it again, something you don't see much of a lot of other sports.

Wrestling also makes those that participate become better athletes in other sports, such as football.

It teaches them better balance techniques and conditioning, as well as how to eat healthy.

To me, wrestling is one of the greatest sports that someone can participate in. But then again, I am a little biased because I competed in wrestling for eight years.

It's that simple.

If anyone is interested in becoming a part of the wrestling program offered by the YMCA, or has any questions about the program itself, they can call Amanda Phillips at the Greenville Y. The phone number is 382-0550. She should be able to answer any questions you might have. Registration for the program is set for Nov. 29 and will run through Dec. 12.

Griffin Pritchard is the sports editor for the Greenvilleadvocate. He can be reached by phone at 382-3111 ext. 122 or via email at