409 Beech St, Manchester, NH 03103
Debbie hopes to encourage youth to find pride in their strength and to apply it in ways that inspire others to do the same. Debbie remembers the first day she walked into PAL; she immediately wondered how different life might have been for her, growing up had this opportunity been available. She didn’t know how she could help but was sure she had to be a part of this caring family.
Growing up, Debbie competed in gymnastics and then had the opportunity to coach gymnastics on and off for about 15 years. In addition to gymnastics, she began lifting about 30 years ago and competed in bodybuilding (only because she wanted to be trained by a particular handsome bodybuilder who incidentally is now her husband of over 30 years). Hooked, Debbie returned to weight-training for a couple of months and decided to try competitive powerlifting. After a year, she successfully achieved state, national, and world records.
In November 2011, Debbie tried her “hand” at arm wrestling at a tournament in Portland, Maine. Having never arm wrestled before, she walked out with a second place trophy from a women's open class and it has been a journey ever since. To date, Debbie has done workshops across New England for women and youth, and she has won 14 National Championship titles and is a 2-time Gold Medal World Champion. Most importantly Debbie has a blast doing it and as much fun teaching!
Jason Cumming is the Founder, Head Coach, and Program Director of the MPAL Gryphons Wrestling Club. Coach Cumming is the Head Varsity Wrestling Coach at Manchester High School Central and has been coaching in Manchester since 2009. Coach Cumming founded the Gryphons Wrestling Club in 2011 after noticing the need for a year-round wrestling training facility while coaching at Central.
Coach Cumming was a varsity wrestler in Massachusetts and New York in high school, wrestled at SUNY Brockport where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in English/Secondary Education, and wrestled while serving as a Munitions Specialist with the United States Air Force. Coach Cumming brings over 30 years of wrestling experience to the MPAL.
Astros Quitayen Sensei, also known as Troy Sensei, is the Aikido program head instructor who has been practicing the art for 30 years now. His first job provided him the opportunity to study Aikido in various dojos in Japan for about 7 years, including the famed Hombu dojo in Shinjuku. His engineering profession eventually brought him to the U.S. in 2000, and he began teaching the art at the YMCA facility in downtown Manchester, NH in 2008. He now spends more time teaching Aikido at MPAL, as a volunteer instructor, since 2011. He currently holds a 3rd degree black belt in Tomiki Aikido under Seiji Tenaka Shihan, 8th Dan, of TSAA. He also holds black belt ranks in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido and Aikikai as well. Troy Sensei teaches the Tomiki style of Aikido at MPAL as he finds the curriculum more suitable for the youth.
Chad Murphy started his martial arts training as a kid with Kenpo Karate and then trained for a few years in Tae Kwon Do before discovering Aikido in 2006. He trained under Duggar Sensei at the Manchester Budo Club YMCA in Manchester where he received his Shodan (black belt). He then trained under Joyce sensei at the same club where he received his Nidan (second degree black belt). He still actively trains under both Joyce sensei and QUITAYEN Sensei. He was born and raised here in NH and has lived here all his life. He currently works in the field of law enforcement where he has held various positions for the last 18 years.
Coach Ben started wrestling at the age of 8 and continued until he graduated from Nashua High School in 1991. After graduating he moved onto the Marines where he was part of Infantry & Security Force units until 1995. Post his Marine Corp career, he embarked on building a civilian life complete with wife and children.
He coached youth wrestling for the past ten years at the Granite Y in Manchester before moving over to MPAL in November 2018. In true community fashion, he helps out at various wrestling programs throughout the state and continues to grow NH wrestling.
His vision is to utilize the sport of wrestling to provide a space for young girls and boys to build confidence and self-esteem, improve their physical stature, as well as challenge themselves in ways most never attempt. To do so, he incorporates a solid support staff of coaches, administrative resources, and most importantly the parents. It is through coaching wrestlers AND parents, the real magic happens.
He stands for a world of compassion & support mixed in with some good old fashion wrassling.
Manchester Police Officer John Levasseur is assigned to the Police Athletic League full time. His responsibilities include coordinating all programs, coaching, and maintaining the building. Officer Levasseur has been highly acclaimed for his ability to work with youth and his expert coaching abilities. Officer Levasseur has significant experience in boxing and mixed martial arts. You can reach Officer Levasseur by visiting the "Contact Us" section of the website.
Will Anctil is the co-founder of MPAL Gryphons Wrestling Club and Assistant Coach at Manchester Central since 2010. Coach Anctil was a 2005 state place-winning wrestler and went on to attend the University of Connecticut, where he co-founded the UConn Wrestling Club team and also played a brief stint with UConn Rugby FC. Coach Anctil has a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and works in biotechnology.
Dan Saia is a volunteer coach for the MPAL Gryphons and is also the head varsity wrestling coach for Manchester Memorial High school. Dan has been coaching in the city since 2015. Dan wrestled for Merrimack, NH in middle and high school and went on the wrestle at Plymouth State University. Dan graduated with a Bachelors degree in Physical Education then went on to obtain his Master's degree in Sport Management from Southern New Hampshire University. As well as coaching, Dan is also a first grade Physical Education teacher in Hudson, NH and a practitioner of Brazillian Jiu-jitsu where, as of today, he is a purple belt. Dan runs a jiu-jitsu program at MPAL in the summer. Dan has coached at all levels of the sport of wrestling from youth to college.