Woman's Arm Breaks in Charity Arm Wrestling Event

2:43 PM, Nov 27, 2012   |    comments
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Esteban Parra, The News Journal

Rehoboth Beach (DE) -- She called herself Rogue Scout and said she was in Rehoboth Beach looking to compete in her first arm-wrestling bout.

Using her right arm, Rogue Scout easily took down opponent Sweet Treats, a woman with decorative ice cream cones in her hair. But when it was time to use her left arm, Rogue Scout lost in a snap - literally.

She had broken her left humerus.

"Stuff like that, you never expect things like that to happen," said Megan Weber, her real name, a 31-year-old physical therapist from Lewes. "I was looking forward to a fun thing to do for a good cause. It's nobody's fault. It's just a freak thing that happened."

So ended Weber's short-lived career in the Delaware Arm Wrestling Lady League, or DAWLL, a sport combining showmanship, female empowerment and feminine toughness that raises money, usually for women's issues.

"It's all about women's strengths," said Heather Newman, one of the league's founders and the co-reigning national women's arm wrestling champion. "The show - what everyone sees, what everyone gets excited about - is watching women show off their strength.

"It's something that you don't see every day, and it's something that everyday women can participate in."

Newman helped start the Delaware league after moving from New York state, where she wrestled under the name Heather Weizen for the Hudson Valley Broads' Regional Arm Wrestling League, or BRAWL. That's the league she represented in the national championship of the Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers, or CLAW.

"Born on a stormy Oktober night in Munich, Ms. Weizen developed her muscles at an early age, as she was forced to hand-chop cabbage for 16 hours each day," claims her mantra on CLAW USA's website. "As a kinder she proved to be immensely stronger than her peers, and was nicknamed Powerkraut."

A big part of the event is the empowerment it provides, said Jennifer Tidwell, a founder of CLAW.

"It comes in lots of flavors," Tidwell said. "We have people who are empowered in creating a persona that's much different than who they are in real life, and you've got the empowerment of learning how to organize these events."
Because many of the participants are young, they are learning organization skills and seeing how much of a difference they can make in their community, she said.

"You can get empowered through the act of wrestling, but I also think there's a lot of developing strength and sense of accomplishment through the organizing work and also camaraderie," she said. "It's like building a new community."

The leagues also raise money - collectively, more than $260,000 since CLAW began in 2008, Tidwell said.

The Delaware league's most recent event, held earlier this month in Rehoboth's Conch Island Key West Bar and Grill, raised more than $1,000, a third of which was set aside for a college scholarship to be awarded to a woman for community service. The remainder benefits a local organization. This month's recipient was the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

"Creative people who want to help come up with various fundraiser ideas, and we love it," said Connie Holdridge, a program manager of education and survivorship at the coalition.

"Whenever we can raise awareness about breast cancer and the help we can offer to breast cancer patients, I'm all for it," Holdridge said. "Having fun encourages conversation, and the message becomes easier to hear."

The arm-wrestling league is still pretty new to Delaware, having held just three bouts.

A fourth is set for January, but the date and place are being wrestled over, Newman said.

Weber, who has been tending to her arm, probably will not participate again. But, she said, she plans to support her fellow combatants.

"I would support those who want to do it," said Weber, who asked to view video of her arm breaking when contacted earlier this week. "I really don't think it's a dangerous thing. It was just one of those freak things. I think one time was enough for me.

"It's a great cause," she said. "I'm definitely going to support it in the future. I'm just probably not going to be an arm wrestler."

For upcoming events, go to the group's Facebook page: facebook.com/dawllhouse.

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