- Ken Corcoran started a wrestling club for girls 5 years ago.
- It all began when his youngest daughter Makenna expressed interest in the sport.
- Now, his two daughters, 13-year-old Kendall and 10-year-old Makenna, are both members of the club.
More than 50 girls with ages 5 to 18 years old gather at East Islip High School twice a week for the team practice of Alpha Girls Wrestling Club.
Founder and coach Ken Corcoran, a wrestler himself, started the club five years ago when his youngest daughter, Makenna, expressed interest in the sport. Now, his two daughters, 13-year-old Kendall and 10-year-old Makenna, are both members of the club.
“She was probably 2 or 3 and my wife and I noticed that the only time she ever sat still was when she was either watching wrestling on TV with me or at tournaments,” Ken said.
Makenna was then 4 years old when her father initially signed her up for the boys’ team. Later on, Danielle Corcoran, his wife, convinced him to create his own girls’ team.
“I started wrestling on the boys’ team at first and then dad made a girls’ team and then that’s when I started, like, getting more into it,” said Makenna.
While New York is among the 29 states that has not yet sanctioned wrestling involving girls, it’d be very difficult for girls like Makenna who love the sport should the sanction happen. They will then be left with no other option than to join the boys’ wrestling team.
“Until they sanction girls wrestling here in New York, then we’ll do what we gotta do to get the girls on a mat that want to be on a mat,” Ken said.
Women’s wrestling has become quite a famous sport since 2001 in the U.S. and has increased to 500% participation since. In 2004, it was recognized as an official Olympic sport. In 2016, Helen Maroulis won the first Olympic gold medal in America held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.