- Brandon Cain
45 student-athletes attend annual Beat the Streets New York Top of the Podium camp
The three-day camp featured two wrestling sessions and one life skill session each day.
Beat the Streets New York held its annual Top of the Podium camp sponsored by Cliff Keen this week at Seward Park Educational Campus.
Forty-five student-athletes, ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade, attended the three-day camp. The camp structure featured two wrestling sessions and one life skill session each day. Topics for life skill sessions included communication, discipline, team building, managing stress and goal setting.
"My experience was amazing," eighth-grader Ayden Cardona said. "I learned a lot, I wrestled a lot and I made friends. I also learned more to be a better person through this camp and I would definitely recommend it for everyone."
Campers received mentoring and teaching from Stevens Institute of Technology associate head coach Anthony Bonaventura and 2022 Division III national champion Brett Kaliner. BTSNY alumnus J.C. Cardenas (2022 D3 regional champion at SUNY Cortland) and current BTSNY high school student-athletes also helped Bonaventura and Kaliner.
"This TOP Camp was unique because not only did we have our counselors mentoring elementary and middle school wrestlers, but we were able to have counselors mentoring each other," BTSNY Director of Youth Programming Penn Gottfried said. "From a D3 college coach and D3 national champ all the way to a high school freshman, we had a wide range of experience amongst our coaching staff.
"This range enabled our older and more experienced counselors to develop the younger counselors into leaders and better coaches as the camp went on. I'm super proud of this camp and I can't thank the parents, wrestlers and counselors for making it the success that it was."
Since being founded in 2005, Beat the Streets New York has pioneered a movement that now includes 150 individual wrestling programs, a youth league and the first girls high school league.
BTSNY works to develop the full human and athletic potential of the urban youth and strengthen the New York City wrestling culture. We aim to make a lifelong impact on student athletes through the lessons learned on the wrestling mat -- discipline, perseverance, self-reliance, humility and a strong work ethic. Discover how you can make a meaningful contribution to our work at btsny.org/donate.