USA Wrestling earns $2500 for commitment to sportsmanship

maple mountain wrestler

[photo: Jeff Porcaro,]

Success in youth sports isn’t always measured by the scoreboard. When young athletes demonstrate teamwork, sportsmanship, and on-field effort, they are winners regardless of the outcome of the game. Liberty Mutual Insurance seeks to continue the tradition of rewarding teams who demonstrate a commitment to fair play through its Play Positive™ Pledge program, and today is proud to announce that USA Wrestling – Utah will receive $2,500 for promoting good sportsmanship within their youth sports organization.

Throughout the winter sports season, USA Wrestling – Utah rallied parents, coaches and supporters to visit and sign a pledge committing to promote, celebrate, champion and advocate for good sportsmanship during games, practices and in the stands in the interest of keeping the youth sports experience positive and fun. This effort enabled the group to earn one of ten $2,500 awards given to youth sports organizations around the country.

“We are thrilled to win the Play Positive Pledge, and proud of our team and community for keeping the momentum going throughout the entire Pledge period,” said Jodie Cox of USA Wresting – Utah. “It’s not always easy for our families to come up with funding for long trips. These much-needed funds from Liberty Mutual Insurance will go towards assisting our national teams with travel and competition expenses.”

Liberty Mutual Insurance introduced the Play Positive Pledge to shine a light on the value of sportsmanship and instill a renewed spirit of positive play in youth sports.  A Liberty Mutual Play Positive survey of 2,000 coaches and parents identified a perceived decline in sportsmanship since their days as youth athletes.  Parents and coaches considered “teamwork” and “sportsmanship” the two most important lessons learned through youth sports; yet approximately 50 percent of parents and coaches believe that sportsmanship in youth athletics is worse today than when they participated as children, compared to only 12 percent who feel it has improved.

“Liberty Mutual Insurance believes that the experiences and lessons learned at a young age serve as the foundation for the future,” said Anthony Storm, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance.  “We are proud of organizations like USA Wrestling – Utah and their community for pledging their commitment to sportsmanship, integrity and an overall positive experience in youth sports. We are delighted that these funds will help create future opportunities for these young wrestlers.”

“The information that came from the Play Positive program has made tangible changes in both athletes and their parents,” says Mapleton resident Craig LaMont, President of USA Wrestling. “I have been a supporter of this program for years and it just keeps getting better.  Sportsmanship is essential for youth sports to continue to make huge differences in the lives of young athletes, and Liberty Mutual understands that.  USA Wrestling Utah is excited to use our $2,500 grant to help fund our national teams this year.”

“The Play Positive program from Liberty Mutual was a fun way to unite all of our members towards a common goal that has a lasting impact within our youth wrestling program, says Billy Cox, Director of Girls Wrestling, Utah, and a Mapleton resident. “Wrestling teaches so many life lessons on the mat that our kids use to enhance their lives off the mat! Having good sportsmanship, whether you are a boy or girl, is one of the keys to success! Our female athletes set a great standard of good sportsmanship, as do the boys, as they often compete with each other. As girls’ wrestling continues to grow in Utah, we have many areas that require funding. We would like to express a “Big Thank You” to Liberty Mutual and this great program!”

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