Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling moves........

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........overseas this weekend when twelve male wrestlers and six females from this area will compete in the Brittany Backhold Championships in the town of Carhaix.

Two years ago Russell Housby and I were the only participants from Cumbria when he won the overall competition and I supervised the judges. Last year Milnthorpe Academy took five wrestlers and their coach to represent the area. This year the Milnthorpe wrestlers will be there again having been enthused by their last visit, but they will be joined by the Hodgson sisters, Tracy, Hannah and Connie from Kendal Academy; Scott MacKenzie and Dan Crane, teenagers from the new Rothbury Academy; and a good range of wrestlers from Carlisle Wrestling Club.

The two most senior wrestlers taking part will be Richard Fox and John Harrington who won many senior trophies during last year's Grass Season. Centenary Under 18 Challenge winner, Joe Harrington will also travel, as well as some of the younger wrestlers, Jack Brown and Paul Murray, and two of the new generation of female wrestlers, Katy Brown and Donna Thompson.

Several officials will also travel to help with the judging, including Tom Harrington MBE, who is a famous figure in international traditional wrestling after he showed the youngsters how to do win in Spain in 1997.

In many ways C&W wrestling is a solitary sport, with man against man in the centre of the ring, so opportunities to travel in a group and have support from other wrestlers from all areas of the North of England is a new and welcome addition to the wrestling scene.

A recent meeting of the CWWA Governing Board explored ways that the momentum of last year's Centenary celebrations could be maintained. The slogan which came out of that meeting was Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling.The Next Hundred Years This trip to Brittany makes an excellent start.

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

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