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Much effort went into the Centenary Year of the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association in 2006. Now, what happens for 2007?

Thankfully the main body of wrestling continues independently and unabated each year. All round the area, sports committees and agricultural show committees give a solid base for wrestling, providing prize-money, trophies, speaker systems, judges and the wrestling ring. If the CWWA did not exist there would still be wrestling events taking place. Year by year we lose events and gain events, but the vast majority continue as they have for decades and in some instances for centuries.

Similarly, in the winter season, each region has its academy to bring on the next generation of wrestlers, and the driving force behind these is always local people who see the need for coaching and training to keep wrestling alive in their area.

That is not to say that the CWWA is redundant. On the contrary it has many roles to provide guidance, structure and consistency to the sport and to respond to changing circumstances. C&W wrestling may be a traditional and regionally focused sport, but times change. Once upon a time wrestling was the natural sport for the school break-time or evenings on the village green. Now it has to compete with many other more fashionable activities and has to satisfy national and international standards.

The accreditation of coaches through a certification scheme may be desirable, but it is also essential. Without qualified coaches Kendal Academy would not be able to use the facilities at the South Lakes Leisure Centre. Schools require properly qualified coaches for in-school training sessions. Further development of coaching is necessary to sustain the recent advances.

In the meantime five academies are active, a crop of skilful youngsters promises well for the summer season and three international adventures are on offer in the next four months.

Carlisle Wrestling Club restarts its winter activities in the Gym at Currock House at 7.45pm on Wednesday 10th January with the second Points Night of the indoor season

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (January 5th 2007)

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