Covid pushes start of youth wrestling season to April 2021

The Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation met this past Sunday and revised their plans for overseeing the 2020-21 season.

Originally, the organization had hoped to resume practice and competition for young wrestlers like those in the St. Joseph Youth Wrestling Club after the Christmas holiday this coming January. Looking at more realistic timetable to return to the mat, the IKWF tentatively announced plans to resume practices starting April 5, 2021.

"We are hopeful that all of the craziness that we have all experienced throughout this year will start to take a turn for the better, and that we will be able to have a season sometime early next year," head coach Billy Gallo said in a letter to parents on Facebook. "We understand that there will be conflicts with kids participating in other sports and other commitments, but we plan to still start with a season at that time. Again, maybe we will see some improvement with this pandemic via vaccination/treatment sooner than April, and we will be able to start before then."

Meanwhile, the club will continue work on the new facility in the former Jim Clingan Auction building north of the Interstate.

"We can't wait to get the wrestlers in there," Gallo said. "We appreciate all of your patience and understanding throughout all of this, and we will continue to send out any updates as we get them."

He also said that registration fees will be returned to those families who have paid and all registration information will be kept on file for when the program can resume. As soon as plans are solidified, the club plans to email to members in future as soon the can have weekly open gym nights.

The IKWF says there will be no sanctioned events during the 2020-21 IKWF season until the CDC and IDPH guidelines and policies change to allow such competitions. The organization expects members to follow the guidance and guidelines provided by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Clubs in violation of state and federal mandates were reminded in a release form organizing body that programs could face penalties by the IDPH and local health departments.

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