Gripping Stuff

TWO special international events could add some spice to the winter training in Cumbria's four wrestling academies. The European Espoirs Championships, for wrestlers between the ages of 16 and 21 years, takes place in Salzburg, Austria over the Easter weekend ( April 9-12).

The second Brittany Backhold Championship will be held in Carhaix, Brittany on Sunday, February 29. In addition there is wrestling for women at both events, with Salzburg staging the European Championship for women over 16 years in backhold and Gouren. Specialist training sessions are needed for the Austrian event as everyone has to compete in two styles, including the highly technical Breton Jacket style, Gouren.

Andrew Carlile and David Atkinson, two Carlisle wrestlers with proven records in both styles, are keen to set up a weekly training session especially to coach potential team members in the art of Gouren, whilst also keeping up their sharpness in the C&W Style. A meeting at Currock House at 8pm on Wednesday January 14 will set up the programme and review the existing training schedule at Carlisle Wrestling Club. Participation at Salzburg depends on team training and selection, but anyone can take part in the Brittany Backhold Championships in Carhaix.

Last year only David Atkinson from this area competed in the inaugural event in Rostrenen, Central Brittany, when he won his section. Roughly 130 wrestlers took part last year, all divided up into many classes. There are thirty-one sections for boys and men, comprising five age rages each with six weight categories. Classes may be amalgamated if there are insufficient wrestlers. Individual wrestlers can make their own arrangements to travel and take part, but entries have to be made before 15th February. Anyone interested in taking part should contact me for more details (Tel: 016974 73559)

Meanwhile the invaluable work of the Wrestling Academies continues in a New Year: Carlisle Wrestling Club meets each Friday 7.30 for Juniors, 8.30pm for Seniors in the Gym at Currock House, Carlisle. Kendal Academy meets in the Westmorland Hall, Kendal Leisure Centre each Friday 7.30-9.30pm. January 9 has Junior Ages Competitions Milnthorpe Academy meets in the Dallam Sports Pavilion each Thursday night, beginning at 6.45pm Waberthwaite Academy meets each Wednesday at Waberthwaite Village Hall.

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (May 4th 2011)

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