USA Wrestling has announced it will support and promote a national youth sports initiative called “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign, which benefits the non-profit organization KIDS in the GAME (KITG). The mission of KITG is to inspire youth to thrive in life through sports by providing the resources that get and keep kids in the game.
The new campaign honors the short but inspiring life of 6-year-old Jack Pinto who lost his life on 12/14. Active in a number of sports, Jack was a wrestler with Newtown Youth Wrestling Association, a USA Wrestling club in his hometown.
Jack’s parents, Tricia and Dean Pinto, selected KITG, and helped launch a national awareness and fundraising campaign, which is dedicated to providing underprivileged children across America with the resources they need to get in the game and thrive in life through sports.
USA Wrestling announced its partnership in support of the KITG initiative earlier this week. The announcement was timed to coincide with the lead-up to The Jack Pinto Cup, an international Greco-Roman dual-meet event being held this weekend at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.. The event offers eight rounds of dual meets, with a one-hour break for lunch. This is the second year in which the international event hosted by USA Wrestling has honored Jack Pinto.
“USA Wrestling is pleased to support KIDS in the GAME and its effort to provide sports opportunities to deserving youth across the nation. We feel that it is very appropriate to initiate our promotion of the ‘Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game’ initiative during the week of the Jack Pinto Cup Greco-Roman wrestling event at the US Olympic Training Center,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director. “We have chosen to honor the life of wrestler Jack Pinto at this event, and we are proud to sponsor a new program for kids that is endorsed by Jack’s parents.”
“We are very excited about this opportunity to partner with USA Wrestling to continue our initiative designed to honor Jack Pinto,” said Natalie Hummel, executive director and co-founder of KITG. “As we raise more awareness and funds we will have the opportunity to get even more underprivileged kids active and into sports in Jack’s honor. We are excited to get more youth into wrestling and look forward to a long partnership with USA Wrestling.”
“The KIDS in the GAME team is doing incredible work and it felt natural for us to partner with them to honor Jack’s memory and his love of play through efforts to help youth,” said Dean and Tricia Pinto. “It is our hope that others will consider giving in Jack’s honor to celebrate his love of sports and play, and help give underprivileged kids across this country an opportunity to enjoy sports like he did. We appreciate USA Wrestling’s support of this campaign.”
The Jack Pinto Cup features four US teams and four teams from foreign nations competing in dual meet competitions. It is traditionally the kick-off event of the new year for Greco-Roman Team USA. This year, the United States, China, Kazakhstan and India are expected to compete.
Dean Pinto and Jack’s brother Ben are expected to be special guests of USA Wrestling at the 2014 Jack Pinto Cup today, and will help launch USA Wrestling’s involvement with the “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign. In addition, KITG executive director Natalie Hummel is also expected to attend The Jack Pinto Cup this weekend.
USA Wrestling will make public address announcements supporting the campaign at two major wrestling events in Colorado Springs on January 25: The Jack Pinto Cup and The Colorado Springs Orthopedic Group Metro Wrestling Championships. USA Wrestling will accept donations for the campaign at these events.
USA Wrestling will work closely with KITG to develop a comprehensive program to help promote the “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign within wrestling. Information on the campaign will be shared through a number of USA Wrestling outlets including its website, its social media outlets, its magazine USA Wrestler, its television show USA Wrestling Weekly, and through other strategies.
Contributions in honor of Jack Pinto can be made by visiting the “Jack Pinto ... Getting Kids in the Game” donation page.