Iowa Western Community College athletics will enter a new arena this fall.
The college will join Indian Hills Community College as Iowa’s only junior colleges with a women’s wrestling program.
The program’s launch was approved by the Iowa Western board of directors at its meeting Monday at the Cass County Center in Atlantic.
President Dan Kinney estimated that the program would cost around $ 160,000 in the first year, with revenues likely to be less than $ 1,000.
“I think, more importantly, this is an opportunity for young women who are interested in wrestling to have that opportunity,” he said.
It also increases equity between sports opportunities for men and women, Kinney said.
The college will use members of its existing coaching staff to manage the program, he said.
As of January, there were only seven colleges in the National Junior College Athletic Association with women’s wrestling programs, according to American Women’s Wrestling. There were 42 in the NCAA programs and 37 in the NAIA.
“We will also be competing with four-year institutions,” Kinney said.
Four-year colleges in Iowa with women’s programs include Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Waldorf University in Forest City and William Penn University in Oskaloosa, according to AWW. Colleges in Nebraska include Hastings College, Midland University, and York College.