The Second Annual Pinning Down Autism Kick Off Classic Wresting Tournament will take place Sunday at Total Turf in Pitman.
Proceeds from the event, which will be conducted by the Atlantic Coast Wrestling Association and feature wrestlers in age groups ranging from eight and under through high school, will benefit the Pinning Down Autism Foundation.
According to the statement on its website, “Pinning Down Autism’s mission is to respond and address the immediate needs of the children and their families within our local communities that are affected by autism and to promote education and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders."
This tournament is another way to bring those families together in an entertaining environment while at the same time raise funds and promote youth wrestling.
“Last year my friends Barry (Cobb) and Jim (Agostino) had an event with a raffle and some other things to benefit Pinning Down Autism,” said Jason Bross, founder of the foundation, whose 19-year-old son, Dylan, is autistic. Both Cobb (Monroe Junior Wrestling) and Agostino (EHT Wrestling) serve on the executive board of Atlantic Coast Wrestling.
“This year they brought it up a level by making the tournament a full fundraiser,” Bross explained. “The first goal of any sports event like this is to raise funds, but the other goal is to make it inclusive. It’s not just a wrestling tournament. We are going to have activities alongside of wrestling to make it a family fun fair. There are going to be other activities that families with kids on the autism spectrum can participate. We are going to have a DJ, a bounce house and other things that families can participate in.”
The tournament will consist of six divisions: tots, six-years-old and under; elementary school, eight and under, elementary school, 11 and under; middle school, grades six through eight with a maximum age of 15 as of the day of the tournament, high school boys and high school girls.
Bross said they are expecting somewhere around 200 wrestlers, but he quickly added that Atlantic Coast Wrestling routinely holds tournaments that attract a couple thousand wrestlers so he is hopeful this event will continue to grow, both in athlete participation and in advancing autism awareness.
“We’d like to get the word out to families in the local communities that have a child on the autism spectrum and encourage them to come out and get involved,” said Bross. “We will also encourage the wrestlers to get involved and mix in to get a better understanding that there are kids out there with different abilities.”
What: Second Annual Pinning Down Autism Kick Off Classic
When: Sunday, November 3, 9:30 A.M.
Where: Total Turf Experience, 614 Lambs Road, Pitman, NJ 08071
Presented by: Atlantic Coast Wrestling Association
Beneficiary: Pinning Down Autism Foundation
Event: Wrestling Tournament with six divisions: 6-under, 8-under, 11-under, 6th-8th grade, high school girls and high school boys.
Admission: Adults $10; Seniors and students 6-years-old and up $5; under 6 free.