Clock ticking down as wrestling coaching date closes in

PREPARATION is the name of the game in the wrestling world at the moment.

The clock is ticking down and only three weeks of preparation time remains for the next stage in the Wrestling Association's Coaching Scheme.

The assessment of coaches for the CWWA Intermediate Certificate will take place at Currock House, Carlisle on Sunday, March 6.

A flurry of activity is in the air with specialist coaching sessions at Waberthwaite, Milnthorpe and Carlisle.

The Northumbrians will also be involved when they travel over to Carlisle for instruction.

A longer period of preparation remains for the European Championships of Celtic Wrestling to be held in Landerneau near Brest in Brittany on the May 7 and May 8.

Alan Jones, who was the team coach in Sardinia 2003, will be Mr Motivator again this year, and he foresees a period of specialist training leading to the selection of first and second choice wrestlers a month before the event.

Wrestlers who wish to take part need to work hard at their levels of fitness, especially stamina training, as the event involves a lot of wrestling over a period of two days.

The Breton style is particularly arduous as it involves five minutes of continuous action for each bout.

Fitness is no use without technique, so there will have to be training in Gouren, the Breton style.

For many years our wrestlers were novices in Gouren, relying on speed, strength and native wit, rather than detailed knowledge of the sport.

Slowly, as experience accumulated, the standards have risen.

With the arrival of the Breton coach, Silvain Begoc, in Carlisle for an extended stay four years ago, the skill level improved dramatically.

Now, wrestlers such as Andrew Carlile and David Atkinson can compete on equal terms with the Bretons in their domestic events.

The Wrestling Association even owns its own crash mat to enable wrestlers to practise the more spectacular Gouren throws repeatedly without damage.

Any wrestler interested in being in the team for the European Championships should contact me on 016974 73559

Sport and politics, unfortunately, have to mix, and one of the issues to resolve is whether to re-admit the Canary Islands wrestlers to future competitions.

The decision must be made after they suddenly withdrew from the International Federation in the early nineties after a change of personnel when they had undertaken to host the event.

We and the Bretons were left with air tickets and broken plans.

Nearer to home, the Cornish Wrestling Association may have observers at the Championships, with a view to further involvement.

When the IFCW was set up in 1985, they refused to be involved, so a breakaway group from Penwith, represented Cornish wrestling (but badly!) at the Championships.

As the Cornish wrestling tries to revitalise itself, this contact must be encouraged.

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

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