OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)– Over 120 girls from six different states, gathered at the Highlands Sports Complex Sunday, for the first ever ‘Battle for the Belt.’ 

This all-girls wrestling tournament is made up of elementary-age athletes.  

It’s put on by the Valkyrie Girls Wrestling Club in Benwood West Virginia. 

Nathan Lafrate is the club’s assistant coach. 

He says they’ve been planning this event for months. 

All girls tournaments, this is the first one in the Ohio Valley and it is the fastest growing sports right now in the United States, female wrestling. We’re just trying to do our part to grow it here in the Ohio Valley.

Nathan Lafrate, Assistant Coach, Valkyrie Girls Wrestling Club 

He says this tournament is a great opportunity for them to develop as athletes and competitors.  

Several girls will even leave with a championship belt.

Our number one value no matter what is never quit. We teach the girls that no matter what you do in life, if you never quit you always win no matter what the score board says. We teach them to complete and that they have every right to be here just as much as the boys do.

Nathan Lafrate, assistant coach, Valkyrie Girls Wrestling Club

He says this event gave so many amazing wrestlers the spotlight to showcase their abilities.

One athlete says it’s made her stronger and helped her gain confidence.  

For others, their eyes are set on the big prize.  

To try to win all my matches and get a belt.

Ellie, Valkyrie Girls Wrestling Club wrestler

I’m excited to get the belt.

Bristol, Valkyrie Girls Wrestling Club wrestler