A Martin Luther King Day message: South Side kids learn wrestling beats the streets (video)

By Yushun Wang

For Martin Luther King Day, the 17-year-old Beat the Streets Wrestling Program brought a special guest to St. Sabina’s gym – three-time World Champion Lee Kemp. Kemp told 70 South Side boys about the “hard work, discipline and dedication” they would learn through the sport.

Just as the 57-year-old Jesse White Tumblers uses gymnastics to help inner-city kids stay fit and in school, Beat the Streets uses pins and takedowns.

Instead of the single day tournament held this time, Beat the Streets plans to work with the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation to give the young athletes a two-day experience next year, said David Curby, executive director of Beat the Streets – Chicago and former Big Ten champion.

Photo at top: A father takes a video of two young wrestlers. (Yushun Wang/MEDILL)