September 30, 2021
Questions and Answers with John Leonardis, Executive Director
Why haven’t I heard more from the SKWC over the past year?
The SKWC used the time of the COVID 19 hiatus to reevaluate everything associated with the club. The Club initiated an outside review of its operations and based on the groups findings we implemented numerous changes. The leadership of the SKWC has been revamped and an Executive Director and an administrative assistant have been hired. Leadership of the club is in the hands of an executive committee with specific subcommittees concentrating on all areas of operation. Many of the club’s new programs are currently in the final stages of development and will be communicated and launched in the early fall. We believe that the changes being implemented will propel the SKWC into the upper echelon and enable us to give maximum support to Rutgers Wrestling.
What exactly does the SKWC do?
- The SKWC supports a RTC (Regional Training Center) which helps attract world class, senior level athletes to Piscataway to pursue their life-long goal of making a World and/or an Olympic Team and ultimately winning a medal. At the Same time bringing these hyper focused athletes around the current Rutgers Student-Athletes provides invaluable mentorship, insight to what they think and how they go about their business on and off the mat. Rutgers wrestlers that meet the criteria to train within our RTC can train with and learn from these elite athletes daily.
- The SKWC also provides a mentor program for our student athletes and young alumni. Various Rutgers alumni, friends and supporters act as career mentors and advisors to prepare our student athletes for success after their wrestling and college days have concluded.
- The SKWC promotes the growth of amateur wrestling programs at all levels throughout New Jersey
- The Club also hosts events to strengthen the Rutgers Wrestling Network and community
Why is the SKWC important to the success of Rutgers Wrestling?
The elite programs of NCAA wrestling are all supported by well-staffed and funded RTC’s such as the SKWC. For Rutgers to contend for national championships a strong and robust SKWC is a necessity. Look no further than past 5 years of NCAA team champions and team trophy winners. You will see the direct correlation with an assembly of senior-level athletes who are chasing greatness and outstanding collegiate teams.
What are the short-term and long-term goals of the SKWC?
The primary short-term goal is to elevate our operational budget to a level equal to the top RTC’s in the country. We are working to have 5 elite resident athletes training at our Regional Training Center spread out to cover all 10 college weight classes. Our primary long-term goal is to build on our current endowment so that the club is always able to support Rutgers Wrestling at a level comparable to the top clubs for the foreseeable future. By doing so we will separate ourselves from most of the programs in NCAA wrestling, making Rutgers University the special place we all know it to be!