Getting to grips with the new post

THE Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association has a new President after last week's AGM, and I hope he is up to the job.... because it's me.

I am well steeped in the traditions of the sport as I won my first event over 50 years ago and my direct ancestors wrestled in the 19th Century, but my focus now has to be the 21st Century, and that was the main thrust of a constructive General Meeting. The present sporting climate demands measures which would have been unthinkable twenty years ago, and the meeting heard about "Child Protection", "Health and Safety checks", Criminal Records Bureau", "Limited Company status" and "the CWWA Development Plan".

The meeting also had a long and thoughtful debate on whether the traditional wrestling strip was an asset or a liability to the development of the sport. The consistency, or lack of it, in referees was considered. And new Governing Board Members, David Parsons of Milnthorpe Academy and Eddie Younger of Northumberland were elected to join those who had their mandate renewed.

The CWWA has always run as a low cost operation, but the increased costs of insurance, trophies, and administration have force the Association to double its fees or face financial meltdown in two years. The Academy was formed in the fifties when it was one of the last to be founded in the post-War boom for wrestling, but it is the only academy not to close in all that time.

The youngsters' names - Brocklebank, Bland, Hodgson, Hayhurst, Wilkinson and Parsons - read like an academy register of the past 50 years, for C&W Wrestling tends to run in families. This season has seen a shortage of senior wrestlers in training, but the enthusiasm of the juniors bodes well for the future.

Kendal Wrestling Academy Award Winners 2003/4

Under 10 Years: 1 Ben Brocklebank 2 William Hayhurst

Under 12s: 1 Jake Hodgson 2 B. Brocklebank U14: 1 Graham Brocklebank 2 Neil Bentham U16: 1 G. Brocklebank 2 David Parsons U18: 1 D. Parsons 2 N. Bentham

Weights - 6st: 1 B. Brocklebank 2 Daniel Bland 8st: 1 Sam Wilkinson 2 Alistair Thompson 10st: 1 D. Parsons 2 N. Bentham 12st: 1 D. Parsons 2 G. Brocklebank 14st: 1 Joseph Robson 2 N. Bentham

All Weights: 1 J. Robson 2 Trevor Hodgson

The wrestler with the most points over the winter season: Ben Brocklebank

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

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