My name is Amanda. I’m a 16 year old Catholic school junior at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia. I love martial arts including wrestling, jiu jitsu, and muay thai. I want an equal opportunity to wrestle in school, but the Archdiocese of Philadelphia says no. I’m being discriminated against just because I’m a girl.
This November will be the inaugural season for our school’s wrestling team. Everyone’s excited, and I want to be part of it because I love the sport and hope to get a college scholarship for wrestling. I train twice a day most days of the week and am involved in anti-bullying programs to help empower people. It’s not fair that being a girl denies me the opportunity to compete at school despite having years of experience in mixed-martial arts.
I heard of a similar story where an 11 year old named Caroline Pla and her family successfully used a Change.org petition to help win her permission to play on a football team. Caroline’s campaign also involved the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and her victory inspired my family and I to start our own petition. The Archdiocese used similar excuses before like how certain sports aren’t meant for girls and that there is intimate and inappropriate touching. I’m sorry, but they need to grow up because that’s ridiculous! I’m an athlete who has beat boys in competition before, and I deserve to be treated fairly. I know many people agree, and that’s why I am asking for your support on my Change.org petition.
My goal is to be a professional mix-martial arts athlete in the UFC. They just officially launched a women’s league in February 2013, and other companies have been doing it for years before then all around the world. I’ll have to work my way up over time to be a champion, but my biggest challenges should come inside the cage from my opponents, not from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and my school!
The season starts in November so I need your help now. The Archdiocese says it will meet in April to discuss this, but what good does that do me after the season is over? Will you stand in my corner? Please sign and share to support my petition for equality!