New Movie Will Share Compelling Story Of Female Wrestler In Wyoming
It's hard for me to stay neutral about this topic.
And for the purposes of full disclosure, I think it's important for me to share some personal information with you before we dive into this post.
I never participated in athletics as a child and until my own children began to play sports, I had never had any exposure at all to the world of club sports or middle school and high school athletic programs.
Seven years ago our middle son (who was 4 at the time) asked if he could try wrestling. My husband was a wrestler himself in high school and was fine allowing our son to try out the sport.
As we spent more and more time on the mat slowly but surely our other two sons joined in.
Our oldest daughter never showed much interest in the sport, aside from cheering on her brothers. Which frankly, was just fine with her dad...because he didn't think that girls belonged on the wrestling mat. I had my own opinions about the issue, but because our daughters had no interest in participating in the sport I kept them to myself.
Over the years as we took a more active role in our small town's wrestling club and as our oldest son began to wrestle for our middle school I saw a shift in my husband's thinking. He had begun to coach a few girls on our team and had been as thrilled as they were (if not more so) as they became more and more successful in the sport.
So, when last year our oldest and youngest daughter asked to join their three brothers on the mat for the 2021-2022 season our husband not only agreed but was excited as could be that all five of our children would now be wrestling.
Our youngest daughter (who was 5 at the time) was able to wrestle at the end of the year, and despite not winning a match she was all smiles at the end of her first tournament.
Earlier this year our oldest daughter participated in the second annual Wyoming Female Westling Camp.
It was her first experience ever wrestling, and as part of the paperwork we filled out permission for her to be filmed. Honestly, I was so focused on her having a positive first experience that I didn't think much about what the videos would be used for.
But, when I saw a Pitch Video about a movie called "Rawlins" that tells the fictional story of a Wyoming girl who decided to join her school's wrestling team after the death of her brother, I put it all together.
This Summer I sat and listened to Lauren Louive share the story of how she fought, again and again, to become who she was meant to be, and as she said "Not everyone is going to believe in you." I felt tears gather in my eyes...
Hall spent a year traveling across the nation interviewing female wrestlers about their experiences, and while many had wonderful stories to share about coaches and teammates that helped cheer them on...there were also stories about harassment, bullying, and missed opportunities because of who they were.
Hall drew from all of these stories to create the fictional main character of his movie Jayden Rawlins. And I love that he wants to use the people and places of Wyoming to tell his story.
James Hall's passion for this project is clear when you watch his video. And, now that we have experienced an entire season of our daughter wrestling, I understand his passion on a much deeper level.
Despite the full support of her coaches, and a brother who was on her team, my daughter was told multiple times "girls can't wrestle".
Thankfully, she used the taunts from opponents as fuel for her fire, and more than once she happily showed them that not only CAN girls wrestle, but they can bring enough power to the mat to walk away with a win.
As the Wyoming wrestling community works for the Wyoming State High School Athletics Association to sanction Female Wrestling I have no doubt that this film will help empower and inspire other girls to participate in this sport.
Want to know more about how you can help make the film "Rawlins" a reality?
Email James Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to know more about the female wrestling program in Wyoming?
Follow the Wyoming Amateur Wrestling - Female page on Facebook.