All 5 Wrestling Academies are back in action after the Christmas break

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All five wrestling academies are back in action after a Christmas break.

Action Man  -  Craig Naylor in winning form One young man was especially keen to get back in action. Craig Naylor, who lives in Wasdale and studies at Newton Rigg, attended his original academy, Waberthwaite on Tuesday evening to limber up for the New Year. On Wednesday he travelled by train from his home area to Carlisle Wrestling Club, which he attends regularly when in residence at the Penrith campus. After a good training session the Carlisle coach, Andrew Carlile, took him to the station for the long journey back to West Cumberland where his long-suffering mother would receive a midnight call to collect him from the station and return him into the high hills of home.

On Thursday his keenness continues for he is due to coach a wrestling session after school at the West Lakes Academy, Egremont, where boy champion Paul Murray is a pupil. Craig Naylor is reaping the rewards for his dedication, for he won the prestigious best-wrestler award at the Academy Shield Competition and has recently gained the CWWA Basic Coaching Certificate. His ambitions do not stop there for he has put himself forward for the 62kg spot in the English team for the European Championships in Glasgow in April, and hopes to attend a training camp in Brittany in February.

David Parsons, the Milnthorpe Academy coach, is looking forward to the Breton Backhold Championships on February 26 th . His small academy has taken wrestlers regularly across the Channel and three of his wrestlers hope to travel. He is bringing out a newsletter to encourage his wrestlers and to increase numbers at the younger end. An ideal number for him is about a dozen a session, and he needs some new wrestlers at the younger and lighter end.

Kendal Academy, which meets every Friday in the South Lakes Leisure Centre, is having an exceptionally good year for young wrestlers, but that has only stirred John Wilson, the club coach to do even better next winter. Nearly thirty youngsters turn out for the two-hour training session, but they are all under the age of sixteen. He hopes to change the night to midweek so that wrestling is no longer competing with a young man's social life. The two hours would then be divided into two sessions: the first hour would be for the younger end, and the second hour for bigger lads and men.

Although he does most of the coaching, he receives valuable support from Joseph Robson and Chris Bland on the mats and from Peter and Nora Hayhurst for organisation. In the coming weeks he will be coaching two Young Farmers Clubs at a shared venue to bring them up to scratch for the YFC Field Day in the Summer

In Northumberland, Rothbury Academy is maintaining its excellent momentum each Wednesday evening at the Middle School despite their coach, Darren Whitfield, suffering from niggling injury, and the other coach, Jason Davidson, commuting nearly two hundred miles each day to work, so that he is usually late and exhausted when he arrives for the weekly training session. The Rothbury lads are keen to repeat their trip to the Breton Backhold Championships, and a travel grant, secured from Lottery funding should help them on their way.

Carlisle Wrestling Club did itself and its coaches proud in winning the Academy Shield in great style last November, and the youngsters were there this week putting in the effort with their three coaches, Andrew Carlile, Alan Jones and Tom Harrington. Next week brings competition rather than training when the second Points Night is held for juniors.

The Wednesday training was briefly halted to pay tribute to George Wall who was buried that day. He had been a stalwart of the club for many years bringing his son Lee along as a spelk of a lad to his beloved hound-trails and wrestling, and supporting him year by year until he was a champion wrestler and crowd-pleaser. Until his first stroke, he was always there to organise presentation evenings for the club and hospitality for foreign wrestlers.


Wednesday, 14th January, Currock House Gym, Carlisle Wrestling Club Junior Points Night

Wednesday, 21st January, Senior Points Night

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

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