Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association

The Breton Backhold Championships Team and supporters now en route to Northern France

Swearing the oath before action in Quimper 2016
One of the biggest Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling events of the year takes place this week-end, and it is nowhere near the North of England. The Breton Backhold Championships takes place in Guingamp in Northern Brittany on Saturday. As I write, a group of thirty folk, half of them wrestlers, the rest parents and hangers on, will be trundling the length of the country to catch the ferry.

Jack Ewart in action at the Westmorland Show 2017

Rothbury Academy has a strong tradition of attendance at the event and most of the wrestlers are theirs, but Jack Ewart and Matty Hodgson from Carlisle and Kendal coach, John Wilson and his son, Sam, will be hitching a lift. Three generations of the Davidson family: granddad Kenny, father and club coach, Jason and his children Thomas and Emily, are in the party.

This is the sixteenth time the championships have been held, and that means a change. Responsibility for the event is taken by one of the Gouren wrestling clubs for a stint of five years. At first it was Carhaix, then Guipavas near Brest, and then Quimper for the last five years. Now it is the turn of Guingamp, a small town of seven thousand with a strong wrestling tradition. In the past they have individually hosted our wrestlers for events in their own summer programme.

With the Espoirs Championships, and all the training it entails, coming ever nearer, it is good to see that several of those selected are taking on an international field at this stage. The Cansfield brothers, Jacob and Fraser, the Rothbury girls Emily Davidson and Alice Bates and Sam Wilson from Kendal will be trying out the strength of the international wrestlers in advance of the main Espoirs event in April.

Whatever happens in the ring, we are always sure of superb hospitality from our Breton friends.

(Written by Roger Robson ..... ©All Photographs on this site are the copyright of Roger Robson, Jill Robson, Julian Richardson, Linda Scott or Webmaster. Unauthorised usage is forbidden {2017} ©)

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