There is evidence that women in ancient Sparta wrestled. The first sanctioned women’s world championships took place in 1987 and the United States first entered a team in those championships in 1989. Tricia Saunders was an early American pioneer, winning world titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 1999. As yet, she is the only female Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Women’s wrestling became an Olympic sport in 2004 and that has accelerated to growth of female participation from the youth to the senior levels of the sport. It is now estimated by some experts that 11,000 young women wrestle in America’s high schools.
Girl’s wrestling participation in Iowa has lagged behind states like Texas, Washington, Hawaii and Michigan. Female Elite Wrestling (FEW) was established to change that. Under the leadership of founder, Charlotte Bailey, FEW is bringing new Iowa girls into the sport and helping them compete at the highest levels. Our support of Female Elite Wrestling fits solidly within our mission.