German TV covers wrestling team's lessons in respecting women

It's pretty rare for a TV network to take viewers inside a high school wrestling room.

Perhaps rarer still when the TV network is Deutsche Welle of Germany ... and the wrestling room is located inside the U.S. wrestling hotbed of Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, the English-language version of DW shown in the U.S. broadcast a three-minute news story about a coach at a Pittsburgh high school who is instilling lessons to his wrestlers about respecting women.

DW reporter Mira Fricke took viewers inside the wrestling room at Carrick High, a Pittsburgh public school with approximately 900 students in grades 9-12 ... interviewing head coach Lennard Orbovich, and a number of his wrestlers, on camera.

Each day, Coach Orbovich conducts talks with his wrestlers after practice sessions, based on a program "Coaching Boys Into Men." Here's how the CBIM program is described in the introductory text at its official website.

"Athletic coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men. Because of these relationships, coaches are poised to positively influence how young men think and behave, both on and off the field. Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) is the only evidence-based prevention program that trains and motivates high school coaches to teach their young male athletes healthy relationship skills and that violence never equals strength."

The discussions, which focus on violence prevention and building healthy relationships, are built on the relationships between coaches and their athletes.

"Some of the most rewarding stuff is hearing conversations they have about situations I'm not involved in, holding each other accountable," said coach Orbovich. "One kid says something that another kid finds disrespectful or they're not comfortable with, and I've heard them correct each other."

The program appears to be having a positive impact on the Carrick wrestlers.

"It's made me look at girls from a different perspective -- to see what they have to go through on a daily basis," said Tarik Smith. "It makes me respect them more."

Wrestler L.J. Orbovich said, "I learn that this is a huge issue but the reason we're not hearing about is that is not being brought to light as it should be. This program is really good at helping do that."

Presently, only boys on the wrestling program are participating in the Coaching Boys Into Men program ... however, girls on the team see the value in the program in their dealings with other girls and women.

"It's sad to see how many girls hate on each other," said Carrick wrestler Tamaya Washington. "We (girls) tend to degrade each other a lot."


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