Summer Survivor was started after the 2020-2021 wrestling season was canceled and Coach Mike Gorton saw how it messed with his athletes and students. We got an idea, teamed up with Kent Ward and created a program through HeavyHittersUSA with a pretty clear goal: Do what we can to protect and foster the mental health and interpersonal social & emotional skills of our community’s kids. How? By giving them a positive place to go in the summer where they can connect with peers while working with specialists/coaches to improve their physical health and athleticism. That place is Whaling City Athletic Center, where any kid can get full access to the gym and all its classes for the entire summer for free, as well as classes and programs specifically designated for Summer Survivor— including jiu jitsu, basketball, wrestling, and weight training. On top of that, we have some great new events and trips every summer thanks to the growing support.How do kids join? Coach Gorton runs sign ups the last few weeks of school, but if you know a kid between 8th grade and senior year that is isolating, struggling with depression or fitting in, or is stuck at home all summer—- send him to us. We promise, this group of kids will build them up and make them feel connected.
We just wrapped up our 2023 Summer session and took the team to Block Island. Check out the Summer Survivor page on Instagram (summer_survivor) for pictures from the trip.
Coach Gorton's reflections on the trip and the 2023 session:
Interested in joining our sponsorship team? Contact Mike Gorton at 860.941.5568 or stop by WCAC!