County sport in urgent need of new blood

CUMBERLAND and Westmorland wrestling's greatest need each year is for more wrestlers to enter each event.

But whilst the focus is on the action in the ring, the sport does not take place in a vacuum.

Each event has to be organised, and that is labour intensive.

Look at the picture of the "staff" at Wolsingham Show last year. It contains most of the ingredients any good wrestling event needs (from left to right):

1. The next generation: Michael Harrington lies at his father's feet, focused on the action, and with any luck, picking up some ideas for his next bout.

2. Alf Harrington: a commentator, with encyclopaedic knowledge, instant recall, remarkable eye-sight, a clear voice, ready wit, public relations skills and the patience to await the referee's decision.....he says!

3. The wrestlers, in neat traditional strips, absorbed in every detail of every move. Alan Jones is passing on his knowledge each week at Carlisle Wrestling Club. Alan Walton has two champion sons.

4. The ladies at the table: calm and efficient; they need diplomatic skills, a big supply of white cardboard tickets and fast handwriting.

Above all, they need to work to a system which is consistent, open to scrutiny and keeps the action flowing so that no-one in the crowd thinks about going for a cup of tea.

Linda Scott, Jill Robson and Doreen Bragg must be well on top of the job as they lead back to enjoy watching what they have organised.

5. Silverware and good prize money.

The big cup on the table is the Wrestling Association 12-stone Championship Cup, but Wolsingham also gives trophies and good prize-money for each section.

6. An attentive crowd enjoying the wrestling and the sunshine. A responsive crowd can turn an event into a memorable occasion.

Forthcoming dates: Wednesday February 9, 7.45pm: Carlisle Wrestling Club Points Night

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

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