Growing up, Wellington resident Jim Traxinger learned the value of working his challenges out on the mat. He wrestled with the Riegle Ridge YMCA wrestling program in New Jersey, and he received varsity letters at Delaware Valley Regional High School, earning a 98-11-1 career high school wrestling record.
Traxinger’s credentials include multiple individual local, district and regional championships, state team championships, becoming an AAU Freestyle State Champion and National Qualifier. He continued the sport at the University of Pennsylvania, racking up more than 13 years total in competitive wrestling. After finding out about the wrestling program at the West Palm Beach Police Athletic League (PAL), Traxinger wanted to share what he gained.
“The wrestling experience develops the intestinal fortitude and mental toughness to compete not only in wrestling, but in life,” he said. “It develops the physical stamina and mental resilience to take on life’s challenges and succeed.”
Traxinger, Florida area president of Kolter Homes, is now a volunteer coach and a member of the PAL Sports Committee, where he helps young men and women learn the sport and develop the skills necessary to compete.
The fourth annual West Palm Beach Police Athletic League (PAL) Wrestling Academy began in November. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Forest Hill High School. Anyone interested in the program can learn more by calling (561) 835-7195.
The PAL is seeking to grow its 70-person program to 100 kids and is in need of corporate and community support for food, transportation and scholarships.
“This PAL serves a local community in serious need. I’ve seen the success of the organization and the effect it has on children and teens. They are making a difference for kids who don’t always have a lot of options,” Traxinger said.
Two academy age groups are available: Rookies (ages 5 to 9) meet from 6 to 7 p.m., and Veterans (ages 10 and up) meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Registration is $75 per child with scholarship opportunities available.