Meet Coach Roy Pittman! Coach Pittman is a long standing member and co-chair of the African American Advisory Council.
Coach Pittman was honored on October 16, 2014 at the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Reception for his dedication and service to youth from Portland's most at-risk environments.
Roy Pittman started the Peninsula Wrestling Club in 1970. He saw youth being cut from football and baseball teams because they did not have advanced skills in those sports. So he started up a wrestling class that was open to everybody, including girls. Since 1971, the Peninsula Wrestling Club (PWC) has promoted the personal development of thousands of young people, from many races and economic statuses. Roy Pittman's love of wrestling began at Portland's Washington High School by accident. For Roy, wrestling was just a way
to "stay in shape for baseball", but it did not take long before it became his passion. As Roy says, "Every kid has the opportunity to find the hero in themselves." "Anyone can be a wrestler," Pittman said. "Big or small, you just have to learn how to use your body."
Roy Pittman especially enjoys the challenge of working with kids who are labeled unruly by other adults and their schools. "I put pressure on myself to find out what is the right thing to do for one particular kid," Pittman said. Sometimes the "right thing" for a kid is not on the wrestling mat; it is in school. More than anything else, Pittman just wants to teach kids to learn how to try. One of his favorite ways to do that is through an exercise during- practice that is physical but actually has a mental benefit. He challenges the kids to touch one of the windows that are 15 feet above the gym floor. Small and tall, the kids run and leap onto the wall to try to reach the windows. The smaller kids do not get more than 3 feet off the ground, but the bigger kids, who have been doing this activity for years, can actually scramble up the wall and tap the window. When that happens, everybody in the gym gets cheers. "Everybody is telling them what they can't do," Roy Pittman says, "1 want to inspire them to do the impossible." Roy Pittman is as committed to the sport of wrestling and the total development of youth.
Roy Pittman is a "Gold" level certified coach, one of only 12 in the United States.