Grappling for autism awareness

Published 1:23 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Grapplers from all over will be headed to the Middlesboro Mall this weekend for a good cause. Fighting for Autism will be holding a free grappling event at 3 p.m. on Saturday to help raise awareness.

“It means a lot that so many grapplers are coming to Middlesboro for this great event,” said Fighting for Autism CEO and MMA fighter Ben Rowland. “It’s the first step for the first Fighting for Autism class in Kentucky. A lot of people have never heard of Fighting for Autism. It’s a great program for children with autism.”

At the current moment, there are plans to have over 20 grappling matches on the card with more being added daily. Teams are coming from Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee to compete in the event.

While the event is free to the public, the organization will be taking donations that go the the Fighting for Autism program. Fighting for Autism shirts will also be sold during the event for $20 with all proceeds going to the Fighting for Autism program.

“It’s very important to show up and support these guys and ladies who are taking their time to come to our town and help raise awareness for this great cause,” said Rowland. “Come out and say hi to the grapplers, get your picture taken with them and bring your children.”

Rowland showed appreciation to a few local businesses for their donation to help get shirts, medals and trophies. Those businesses include: M&R Golf Carts, Brad Cawood, J.R. Hoe, Tennessee Brewsky and Giles.

According to their website, Fighting for Autism is a non-profit organization and has many divisions that proudly work with children, families and communities to bring autism awareness and inclusion among different cultures, to help with self-esteem and anti-bullying programs for children and adults living on the autism spectrum.

The website states that the mission is to improve the quality of life for all children and families living with autism around the world. They have several divisions including Fitness for Autism and Racing for Autism.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN