Wrestling club brings new opportunities for University of New Haven students


Photo courtesy of Lindsay Giovannone.

Wrestling Club executive board: Nolan Wyse (left), Prosper Vignonne (center) and Nick Morgese (right).

As of Jan. 20, the University of New Haven Wrestling Club is up and running. For over two years, juniors Prosper Vignonne and Nolan Wyse have been working to provide an environment where students can learn, grow and achieve their physical fitness goals. Vignonne, the club’s president, began wrestling his freshman year of high school.

“Before I started wrestling,” he said, “I struggled with self-discipline, motivation, and behavioral issues.” With wrestling he said, he developed a new mindset that revolved around dedication and perseverance. During his first year at the university, Vignonne met Wyse , who shared a passion for wrestling. Wyse, who serves as the club’s vice-president, also wrestled in high school; like Vignonne, the sport gave him the motivation to improve both his physical and mental state.

A member of the Wrestling Club warms up before practice. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Giovannone.)

The process wasn’t easy. As with any other Recognized Student Organization (RSO) on campus, certain criteria had to be met. Their efforts were hindered by the effects of COVID-19; the university-wide restrictions implemented required social distancing, and many club sports suspended their practices. With these restrictions eased, and with Vignonne’s and Wyse’s hard work and dedication, the wrestling club has officially become a reality.

Both Vignonne and Wyse want to make this club as inclusive as possible. No prior experience in wrestling is required, and there are no gender restrictions. The club has gathered some support, and their interest list includes over 30 students from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities and gender identities. The club’s executive board will also include a Diversity and Inclusion advisor to ensure a welcoming environment.
By creating the wrestling club, Vignonne and Wyse hope to help other students fulfill their greatest potential. Their lives were changed for the better due to their passion for wrestling, and they want other students to experience a new mindset, an increase in physical fitness, a supportive community and lasting friendships.

Wrestling club members warm up before practice. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Giovannone.)

Vignonne and Wyse are currently working on joining a competitive league with other schools’ club teams. But even if a student doesn’t want to compete, they can still attend practices to have fun and meet people. As for Vignonne and Wyse, they can’t wait to get back into wrestling and see the team grow into an organization that will benefit future students.