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Our Purpose

The East Tennessee Wrestling Association (a Non Profit, Unincorporated Association)

“Developing life long champions in our Community” (Articles of Association)



The East Tennessee Wrestling Association became a reality as a “Non-profit, Un-incorporated Association” on April 10, 2010. It is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes in accord with 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This association (referred to as ETNWA) is the administrative responsibility of: Don Elia,Executive Director of ETNWA and formerly the Head Wrestling Coach for Carson-Newman College (31 years) and the current coach of The Wrestling Club at East Tennessee State University; The “day to day” business affairs for this association will be the administrative responsibility of Paul Tucker, President. Paul also serves as President and CEO of Professional Engineering & Inspection Services, PLLC. The media services and “day to day” fiscal responsibilities will be the administrative responsibility of Robert Tucker. Robert is the brother of Paul and a former wrestler at Carson-Newman College. He is also the founder and President of PDS (a computer consulting company specializing in Web Design, Programming and Microsoft software training). He is also the founder and CEO of “Court Clerk” an “on-line” legal research service. Abe McKenna, another former Carson-Newman wrestler and “All-American” is a graduate of The Florida State School of Law and will join this group as a Legal Consultant. These four will serve as the “Steering Committee” for the “day to day” business activities of the association. No one will receive compensation for their services to East Tennessee Wrestling Association. All business relationships with any officers,directors, trustees or associates will be solely on the basis of their position as an officer, director or trustee of The East Tennessee Wrestling Association.

A 12 member “Board of Trustees” will be selected and join the ETNWA administrative team at the conclusion of it's first full wrestling season of competition. The selection process will be complete by September 1, 2011 and The Trustees will assume their responsibilities. The four current officers will select a field of twenty Individuals. Each will be expected to have a history of involvement and service to Amateur Wrestling in East Tennessee. Each will express a willingness to serve without compensation. Each will agree to serve for a period of three years with the opportunity to be reappointed.  If willing, those 20 persons will become the candidates. The four current Officers of ETNWA and the twenty candidates will each be authorized to cast a vote for the final 12 Trustees. This group (in association with the current officers) will then be responsible for the development of the “Long Range Business Model” and the “Long Range Planning” of the association, as well as setting criteria for subsequent selection processes and procedures. In addition, they will assist in the development of a “Board of Advisers”. This group will be volunteers with a wide range of wrestling experience and background. It will include area coaches from the youth leagues to the junior and senior high school programs, as well as, area college coaches, and many other friends of wrestling. This group will serve in an advisory capacity and will have an important role in the future development of our organization and, in turn, serve the wrestling community in East Tennessee.

Our Mission

The Mission of the East Tennessee Wrestling Association will be to “reach out” to the young people of East Tennessee and beyond through the sport of Wrestling. Our Primary Goal is to expand the athletic and educational opportunities for all of the youth of East Tennessee through the development of skills, experiences and competition. Our initial point of emphasis will be in the development of a club wrestling program at East Tennessee State University. It is our hope that the ETSU Wrestling Club will some day achieve varsity status and at that point we hope to have similar success developing  other college and university programs in the area. Early efforts to establish a "Wrestling Club" have been under way since January of 2010 (which is mid-year as far as wrestling seasons are concerned). We were able to complete that season and begin a recruiting cycle for the fall of 2010. Twenty one athletes came to gether and a team has been created. In March of 2011 they concluded their first full saeson with six athletes qualifying for and participating in The National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Campionships in Macon, Georgia. Our second recruiting cycle was completed as of June1, 2011 and 14 additional athletes will be a part of the 2011-2012 program of activities.

Our second point of emphsis will be in the development of programs for elementary, middle and high school students. We applied for and were awarded a "Club Charter" through USA Wrestling. USAW is the administrative body responsible for our our countries international presence in the sport of wrestling. It is The Olympic and World Championship governing body for the United States, as well as, a "key player" in our countries youth development effort. It was not an easy process. Among other things, an extensive "background check was required of those of us involved in the administration of our club and indepth liability issues needed to be addressed, We were approved on all levels,awarded a Charter Program and began working with our first ypoung people in the first part of April and continued through the end of May of 2011.

Our third challange was to provide the same opportunity for young women as were available for the guys. We started to recruit and took the initial steps to begin a club program for the women at East Tennesse State University. Six women are currently working out on a regular basis and will continue through out the summer months leading up to the opening of the fall semester for 2011. At that point in time, we hope to begin a competitive program for women. All of the appropriate paperwork will be processed and submitted in order to establish club membership in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA). Opportunities for work outs and training were recently offered to area high school girls and those efforts will continue on into September 2011 and beyond.

The fourth stage of our programming will begin in the fall of 2011 when we hope to be able to add mambership in AAU programs (Amateur Athletic Union). This will become a natural suppliment to the othe things we are trying to accomplish, but will also reach into the primary schools to provide additional oppportunities to the youngsters in our region. In short, we expect to be able to bring valuable experiences to many more young people by introducing them to the values of, "Our Oldest and Greatest Sport", Amateur Wrestling.
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Program Benefits

Wrestling is a unique individual/team sport offering special opportunities to boys and girls; men and women of any size, weight, age, race or gender. It is one of the very few sports in which persons with handicaps or disabilities can compete with athletes who do not have these kinds of problems to deal with. They can not only compete, but often excel. In wrestling, athletes compete with others their own weight, age and gender. Any individual can strive to reach his/her full potential as a person and an athlete. The sport requires hard work, training, self-discipline, and attention to the basics of nutrition, weight management, fair play and sportsmanship. Wrestling teaches a person to have respect for themselves, their peers, opponents, friends, family, and all those with whom we associate.

It is important at this point that we take pause and recognize East Tennessee State University and The Johnson City Housing Authority for supporting our efforts in trying to help the young people in our community.
  • East Tennessee State University is our link to being able to work with college students in helping them learn and grow as people, athletes and leaders. In allowing us to help create and support a club wrestling program. ETSU is continueing to play an important role in student lives both at the collegiate level and in the public schools of East Tennessee. Young people in our area can easily keep the dream alive that they will have the opportunity to continue their education and improve the quality of life they can enjoy as adults. At the same time, they will be able to continue to compete and grow as an athlete and an individual while being  a part of something  they will take with them the rest of teir lives. ETSU does not finance what we do, but they offer supplemental support in terms of "Mentoring" our students and giving them an opportunity to learn a number of leadership skills. They provide the students with "first rate" recreational facilities, so fitness can become a way of life. Many of our students work in the "Federal Work Study"  program which helps make college more affordable or they participate im many other forms of State, Federal or institutional Financial Aid. The Club Sports Program does provide the club with some supplemental financing. For the most part, they expect that the bulk of our financing will be provided by the team and it's fund raising projects. Their help is provide some practice equipment. some entry fees and part of the travel. The assistance they offer is never more than half of any expense we encounter and only applied to desifnated items with all of the proper documentation.
  • The Johnson City Housing Authority has been a "God Send". From the very beginning they have been committed to doing whatever they could to help us, help the children on East Tennessee. They created a work out facility, renovated an old day care center, built a wrestling room, an office, a laundry room, showers and rest rooms. They have provided us with the use af the Keystone Recreation Center for our home events, youth camps and clinics. They have encouraged us at every turn including our efforts to establish a Charter Club Through USA Wrestlig and the AAU. They encourage us to provide opportunity for  kids of all ages, sizes and shapes. They are serious about providing equal opportunity for everyone and do it on a regular basis. All of this has been provided for us on the condition that we do all we can to include programming for children the Housing Authority has the responsibility for' It is hoped that we can attract as many as 51% of the young people served by the Housing Authority programs. In return for all of this, we are omly charged 50% of the cost of Utilities. No cash ever hits our program, nor is anyone employed or received compensation. In both the ETSU and Housing Authority relationship we are reimbursed for some of our expenses, but only if we can develop the resources to finance any expense we have in the first place.

Teaching Objectives

The teaching objectives of The East Tennessee Wrestling Association include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Having fun;
  • Learning the fundamentals of the sport;
  • Learning to practice “Good Sportsmanship”;
  • Learning to be “fit” and “strong”;
  • Learning good nutrition habits;
  • Learning the joy of working to achieve individual goals within a group effort and willing to become the “best you can be”;
  • Learning to compete and win or lose with dignity;
  • Learning to be a “positive force” and “inspiration” to those around you.


Program Fees and Fund Raising Opportunities

Club Members and Coaches are responsible for some fees:
  • USA membership cost is $35 for the Student and $45 for the Coach. This includes Club Membership and Secomdary Insurance, as well as, a Catastrophic injury provision. USA membership is Primarily a Spring and Summer Program.
  • AAU is the same kind of benefit, but $30 for the Student and $40 for the Coach> The insurance is similar, The AAU program is usually associated with the younger children and runs though the early fall and immediately after the new year for about 8 weeks.
  • The College Program costs each student $35 to register as a member and the benefits are similar to the other programs. It is important to note that each membership and insurance program covers a student when they compete or travel od practice for an event sanctioned by the governing body, so while it looks like it could be a duplicating expense, it is not.
A wide range of fund raiasing opportunities are open to us. Most of it will be done by the older students. For Example:
  1. The College Students will work a concession stand at the Bristol Races (Hopefullu fall and spring);
  2. As a Coach for 31 years, I hope to get some of my alumni involved as club members and ask that they give back to the sport;
  3. We will give the parents an opportunity to participate ( each with the group they represent i.e. Collegiate, Middle School and High School);
  4. Friends of the sport can give through our wed-site;
  5. FInally, we expect to offer a number of camp and clinic opportunities that will be available though the year and a small fee will be charged for those.

These initiatives will finance what we do during the course of the year and allow us to also help those who can not afford membership fees. If successful, we be able to offer a small book scholarship somewhere down the road.

This Information is Respectfully Submitted by:

Don Elia, Executive Director, ETNWA _________________________________

Paul Tucker, President, ETNWA______________________________________

Robert Tucker, Secretary/Treasurer____________________________________

 ©2012 East Tennessee Wrestling Association
111 Legion St., Johnson City, TN (Legion Center)