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Park's Wrestling Mats Find New Home with José Valenzuela '00 and Beat the Streets New England
from Summer Bulletin 2022
Park’s Wrestling Mats Find New Home
Alumni who wrestled while at Park will be glad to know that the School’s wrestling mats, which needed to be relocated due to renovation, will become an integral part of a program led by José Valenzuela ’00. José is the cofounder and vice-chair of Beat the Streets New England (BSNE), a youth development organization which uses wrestling to help kids in Boston and Providence, as well as Hartford in the near future.
José credits wrestling—the sport as well as his coaches and teammates—with helping him gain confidence and strive for greater goals on and off the mat. José got his start wrestling at Park with Coach Bill Bourne, and went on to coach here himself in 2008. After finishing his wrestling career at Williams College, he returned to Boston to teach history in the Boston Public Schools. Recognizing that his students needed further mentoring and coaching, José founded Boston Youth Wrestling in 2009. BSNE is the result of a merger between Boston Youth Wrestling and Beat the Streets Providence. Currently operating in public and charter schools in Boston, Lynn, and Providence, BSNE serves approximately 1,000 students per year, offering free wrestling training, academic skill development, competition, and college and career exploration. José believes that wrestling can serve as a great tool to supplement what students gain through academics, and that coaches serve as positive mentors. The organization’s Coach-In- Training Program even allows more senior students to serve as coaches themselves.
Thank you to Director of Athletics Bob Little for facilitating this connection, and to José for leading the important work of Beat the Streets New England.