Champions that Wrestle Inc was started in the fall of 2018 by Shawn Girch and Ryan Mackin, who grew up competing against one another but began coaching together in 2016.
The values and philosophies of the program have been exercised for several years through coaching, teaching, and mentoring. Through coaching and teaching, Shawn and Ryan realize the impact that sports can have on young children and decided to use this outlet to develop champions through athletics.
Often times the lessons that are learned in competition, or in practice, translate to other important aspects of a student-athlete’s life such as goal-setting, work ethic, and teamwork. Coach Mackin and Coach Girch began to see that young men and women that were dedicated to being a champion still dealt with economic hardship, transportation, access to competition, and positive guidance. In order to provide the young athletes with opportunities to succeed in athletics it was necessary for Girch, Mackin, and other coaches to provide finances and transportation.
No young man or woman should be denied the opportunity to succeed due to hardship, this is the philosophy that drove these coaches to personally contribute thousands of dollars benefit the aspiration of athletes in the Baltimore metro area.
No matter what the event was, whether it be local wrestling clubs, summer training camps, or even National level competitions, Shawn, Ryan, alongside the Owings Mills High School coaching staff would make sure their wrestlers would have the opportunity to attend if they desired to do so.
As the program grew, so did the demand for help. So much so that Shawn and Ryan could no longer afford to cover the expenses. It was at this time they would reach out to the community to see if any business or person would be generous enough to support. Quite honestly, the response was shocking. Not only were members of the community willing to help, they were eager to do so. Local businesses and organizations donated what they could afford in order assist the wrestlers in buying equipment, providing transportation, and paying for hotels and entry fees for local and national tournaments.
The community demonstrated they were eager to help those that were excited to work hard and had aspirations to be great. This lead Shawn and Ryan to focus on the entire person instead of just the athlete. Many of the same hardships would occur when it came to academic performance. By emphasizing the importance of academics, the coaches began providing the wrestlers with tutoring and study programs to assist in classes and SAT preparation.
Living a lifestyle of a champion is a motto that Shawn Girch and Ryan Mackin preach as they coach and teach young people. The champion lifestyle did not end when your hand was raised but continued into the classroom and especially as a member of the community.
The work was seen when 5 out of 6 2018 members attended a four year college. The 6th member decided to continue education in the form of the police academy while giving back to his community.
Giving back is something that many of the athletes involved with Champions that Wrestle experience and they are encouraged to volunteer at local charities and organizations as a way to give back for all the help they were provided.
After seeing the positive impact they had on their wrestling program in the Owings Mills Community, Shawn and Ryan decided it was time to reach out on a larger scale and help assist other programs in the area. By forming Champions that Wrestle Inc, wrestlers will be provided opportunities to excel academically and athletically despite any financial hardships they may happen to face. The ultimate goal will be to branch out to other sports, not just wrestling, to provide the same opportunities to student-athletes nationwide.