EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — A university in the Poconos is introducing a new sport to its athletics program — women’s wrestling.
East Stroudsburg University announced earlier this month it will add the sport in the fall.
Adding women’s wrestling to the athletic program has been in the works for quite some time.
On Thursday, about 20 girls from all over the east coast came to learn more about what the university’s program will offer them.
Vaylerae Baker is a senior and on the girls wrestling team at Wyoming Seminary in Luzerne County.
“I think it’s really exciting, just to be able to be here and have the opportunity because it’s a new and upcoming program and there’s not that many women programs in the northeast. Just being close to home and having the opportunity is pretty cool,” Baker said.
About 20 girls from all over the east coast got to tour the campus and meet with coaches.
The program is part of ESU’s master plan to expand athletics.
“When they get out of high school, they have a choice of either going somewhere far from home or not to wrestle, so it’s important for them to have something close to home,” said Anibal Nieves, ESU men’s and women’s wrestling coach.
Women’s wrestling has been under consideration at East Stroudsburg University for a few years. Some student-athletes we spoke to say they are happy to finally see it come to life.
“I think the school is pretty cool. I mean I grew coming to tournaments here, so I mean, I have a little exposure but I’ve never really seen it from this angle and I think it’s amazing,” Baker said.
Avia Bibeau is a junior and a girls wrestler at East Stroudsburg North High School. While it’s too soon for her to enroll, she’s happy to have the option.
“For me, I am local and right down the road and I wrestle all the time up here so I am just really excited,” said Bibeau.
Women’s wrestling might not be the only added sport. The university president says the school is also considering adding acrobatics and tumbling and e-sports to the program lineup in the future.