Youth
Programs

Bully Prevention Education

According to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice, nearly 20 percent of students ages 12 to 18 experience in person and/or cyberbullying while in school. Persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.

To help prevent bullying in schools and online, PPW offers a motivational and inspirational bully prevention assembly that features professional wrestlers serving as guest speakers. The assembly captivates youth while placing emphasis on defining the act of bullying and teaching students how to seek help or help others who are experiencing bullying. Our guest speakers promote the celebration of diversity and the importance of inclusion by utilizing real world examples and past experiences in their own personal lives. 

Guest Speakers

Leo “Father Time” Napier:

This awe inspiring professional wrestler is known around the wrestling world as “Michigan’s Miracle Man.” In his middle sixties, Father Time made wrestling history by becoming the oldest person to ever debut in professional wrestling.

If that’s not incredible enough, this aging grappler has overcome multiple strokes, 2 forms of cancer, and blindness to live out his dream inside the squared circle.

Father Time is a multiple time Michigan State Heavyweight and Tag Team Champion and has performed for Ring of Honor, a nationally syndicated pro wrestling program.

Father Time’s incredible journey has been an inspiration to thousands and his amazing life story has been reported on by both local and national news agencies. Michigan Author Mark Elswick is also working on Father Time’s autobiography which is scheduled to be released in the near future.

Joe Byrd AKA Xavier Justice:

PPW’s Founder & Head Coach has spent over 20 years, more than half his life, in the professional wrestling business. Byrd started his career at the age of 16 and over the span of two decades wrestled all across the United States against some of the toughest grapplers ever to step inside the squared circle.

Byrd has held several prestigious championships including the Michigan State Heavyweight and Tag Team Championships.

Along the way, Byrd founded Pure Pro Wrestling (PPW), which has become Michigan’s largest and only touring brand of pro wrestling. Utilizing PPW as a vehicle, Byrd has been able to raise nearly a half a million dollars for charitable causes and has created several successful youth programs that have impacted the lives of children of all ages and walks of life.

Byrd has also lived in India where he served as a Head Coach and Wrestler for Continental Wrestling Entertainment, India’s first professional wrestling school founded by WWE Hall of Famer The Great Khali.

Outside of pro wrestling Byrd has served as a Youth Sports Director and has coached baseball, wrestling, football, & basketball in Flint, Michigan and its surrounding communities.  Byrd works tirelessly to impact the lives of at risk youth and has a true passion for philanthropy.

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Reading Rules

1 out of 4 children in America will grow up without learning how to read. 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level. Students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school. Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. More than 60% of all inmates are functionally illiterate. 75% of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90% of high school dropouts are on welfare.

These statistics are frightening and are a direct indicator that teaching a child to read is one of the most important responsibilities that parents and educators have. To help fight childhood illiteracy, PPW has created Reading Rules, a fun reading encouragement program featuring the Heroes & Villains of the squared circle. Pro wrestlers serve as guest readers in classrooms and public libraries. After the wrestlers finish reading, they encourage students to practice daily reading habits, share personal experiences with books that helped to shape and mold them, and inform students how to reach out for help if they are struggling with their own personal literacy.

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Wellness, Fitness, and Nutrition

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States, putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years in 2017-2018:

  • The prevalence of obesity was 19.3% and affected about 14.4 million children and adolescents.
  • Obesity prevalence was 13.4% among 2-to-5-year-olds, 20.3% among 6-to-11-year-olds, and 21.2% among 12-to-19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
  • Obesity prevalence was 25.6% among Hispanic children, 24.2% among non-Hispanic Black children, 16.1% among non-Hispanic White children, and 8.7% among non-Hispanic Asian children.

Drug Use among youth is running rampant as statistics indicate usage by children has reached unacceptable rates.

According to drugabusestatistics.org, 21% of 8th graders have tried illicit drugs at least once. By the time children are in 12th grade, 46% of teens will have tried illicit drugs. Nearly 11 million 18-to-25-year-olds used drugs in the last month. Nearly 5,000 Americans aged 15 to 24 years old died of an overdose of illicit drugs in the past year.

Mental Health concerns among our youth are at an all time high. According to the Center of Disease Control, 7.4% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.5 million) have a diagnosed behavior problem. 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety. 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression. Millions more go undiagnosed as youth are often not treated for mental illness and behavioral concerns.

In the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, America’s youth are struggling with a multitude of issues related to wellness, nutrition, and fitness. With the childhood obesity rates, drug use, and mental health statistics in the United States reaching staggering levels, Pure Pro Wrestling has joined the fight to help save our youth by providing an effective program that schools, civic organizations, children’s advocacy non profits, and ministries can call on for a direct impact. PPW’s Wellness, Nutrition, and Fitness program offers assemblies, seminars, and our special “Gym Teacher for the Day” program. Our professional wrestlers serve as positive role models and mentors advocating for daily mental and physical care utilizing first hand accounts and expert information. They also advocate against experimenting with drugs and discuss the serious repercussions of drug abuse.

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The Junior Grapplers

Physical Fitness is paramount to childhood development. According to the CDC Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as:

  • Heart disease

  • Cancer

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Osteoporosis

  • Obesity

Physical inactivity can

  • Lead to energy imbalance (e.g., expend less energy through physical activity than consumed through diet) and can increase the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

  • Increase the risk of factors for cardiovascular disease, including hyperlipidemia (e.g., high cholesterol and triglyceride levels), high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.

  • Increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Increase the risk for developing breast, colon, endometrial, and lung cancers.

  • Lead to low bone density, which in turn, leads to osteoporosis.

To encourage physical fitness in youth, Pure Pro Wrestling has created the Junior Grapplers, America’s only pro wrestling training program for kids. In our revolutionary program, youth ages 6 – 18 have an opportunity to learn real pro wrestling techniques in a safe environment from highly trained professional wrestling coaches. Training sessions provide a unique and fun form of exercise, team building, and work ethic development. Classes help students overcome anxiety, depression, and help to boost self-esteem and confidence. Students also have a tremendous creative outlet by performing on PPW live events in front of thousands of people in cities all across the state of Michigan. During these performances students create their own characters, costumes, and choreograph their performances. The Juniors Grapplers believe in inclusion which means students who have been diagnosed with disabilities are accepted. The program has proven results in helping children overcome obstacles related to autism, depression, and musculoskeletal disorders.

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Next Steps- Contact Us Today

Set aside some time to speak to Joe Byrd about how Pure Pro Wrestling’s programs can supplement your organizational activities, messaging, and programs. 

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