Summer has arrived April 30th

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The unexpectedly early start to the Grass Season is not the only sign of what is to come in the wrestling rings this summer. The Primary School at Grasmere is making preparations for the Grasmere Rush Bearing in July and as part of that have found a grant to cover the expenses of wrestling coaches for a ten week spell so that the sport can be part of the celebrations. Carrie Taylor, a Governor at the school, may have set a trend by tapping into the goodwill enjoyed by the sport on a local level to provide funding for the course which will involve other schools in the area.

Although wrestling depends so much on volunteers for its organisation and coaching, most of the qualified coaches are working men who deserve to be compensated if they take time off work to pass on their skills.

100 years

Plans to mark the Centenary of the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association will also give a lift to the season. The plan is to hold special Centenary events in three areas: Northumberland, North Cumbria and the Borders, and South Cumbria and Lancashire. These prestige events will be an extra for this season, only with projected prize money of £1000 for senior events, and £500 for juniors and the ladies' categories.

The arrangements have not been finalised, but the Northumbrians were talking of holding it in the Mart ring at Rothbury; South Cumbria and Lancashire will probably be part of the programme at the Westmorland County Show; and North Cumbria plans to stage the All Weights and Boys Under 15 Years at the Cumberland Show, and the Ladies' Centenary event at Penrith Show.

Appropriately, Governing Board Member and former World Champion, Alan Coulthard, happens to be the President of the Cumberland Show Committee this year so he is keen to support this prestigious event.

On the last Friday in October, at the end of the wrestling year, the CWWA is to hold a Centenary Night at the Shepherd's Inn, Carlisle, when the main item on the agenda will be non-stop crack about who felled whom with what over the past sixty years. The hope is to emulate the grand evening enjoyed by so many wrestlers old and new at Shap Wells Hotel a few years back organised by John Richardson.

European Espoirs Championship

Around the same period the CWWA will host the European Espoirs Championships when young wrestlers (16 to 21 years) from up to nine countries will compete in two types of wrestling, Gouren from Brittany and our own C&W style. A committee is in the process of being formed, so anyone who would like to be part of the organisation should contact me on 016974 73559.

The extent of our international contacts was reinforced when Alf Harrington and family were returning from a holiday in France. As they took their places for a meal on the ferry, still five hundred miles from home, the waiter asked how the wrestling was going in Carlisle. A few years ago Sylvain Begoc spent the best part of a year working in Carlisle to improve his English and his wrestling. Ironically, we probably gained more than he did, for Sylvain was an excellent Gouren coach who boosted the skill levels of Andrew Carlile and David Atkinson to enable them to be a match for any wrestler in the international events.

Now the two Carlisle wrestlers are keen to pass those skills on another step in preparation for the Espoirs Championships.

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (February 10th 2011)


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