Nearing the end of a soggy season

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A typical scene at the beginning of IFCW European Championships


After this soggy summer wrestlers may welcome a roof overhead and dry mats under their feet as Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling moves indoors for the winter. Before then only three outdoor events remain but they are special; Alwinton in the Cheviot Hills and Wasdale and Buttermere deeply embedded in Western Lakeland. I remember a time when the end of the Grass Season meant hibernation for wrestlers as we retreated from public eye to do our weekly training and internal competitions at the various academies.

A much busier schedule at home and abroad awaits our current wrestlers. On the international scene the biggest event is the European Championship of the International Federation of Celtic Wrestling in April 2009. Usually our participation involves expensive flights to distant destinations, but this year they will be held just up the road in Scotland; East Kilbride to be exact. A team of seven wrestlers is needed at a wide range of weights (62kg, 68kg, 74kg, 81kg, 90kg, 100kg and over 100kg).The event will be a clash of two styles - Cumberland's traditional backhold wrestling and Gouren, the Breton style. A winter of training in the alien Breton wrestling is necessary if we are to do ourselves justice. As it happens some of our champion wrestlers have experience of competing in European events which could give us a strong possibility of success.At the same time the Female European Championships takes place in tandem with categories at 50kg, 56kg, 63kg, 70kg and 80kg. There is no category for females over 80kg. In both male and female competitions wrestlers must be over 16 years on the day. So far we have had no female wrestlers taking part in the championships, but as there is now a significant number of female events on our calendar, that may change.The Bretons are staging two events which may affect our wrestlers. From the 15-20 February 2009, the Breton Federation will organise an international traditional wrestling training course, probably at Ti ar Gouren, their purpose-built facility at Berrien in Central Brittany. Obviously it is in our interests to have our wrestlers participate to boost skill levels. Last year over 20 of our wrestlers took part in the Breton Backhold Championships in Carhaix, Brittany. That will take place on Saturday, 21 February at the end of the training week. Meanwhile on our own patch the end of the Grass Season will be celebrated at a Presentation Dinner on Friday, 7 November when the most successful wrestlers of the 2008 season will receive their CWWA Trophies. The Academy Shield takes place on Friday, 21 November at Kendal Rugby Club when teams of 11 males and two females will battle for the 'boiler lid', the silver shield first presented in the period following the Second World War. Female wrestlers are included for the first time with categories at 10st and Open.

Carlisle Wrestling Club's AGM will be held at 2000 BST on Thursday, 9 October in the Gym at Currock House. All those interested in our ancient sport are invited to attend.

Saturday, 11th October 1.30pm Alwinton Show U10/U13/U16/U21/12 Ch'ship/14/AW

4pm Wasdale Head    U11/U12/U13/U15/U18/10 ½ /12/AW

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

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