The struggle to survive


Sunday, 11th November - Scottish Wrestling Bond Under 21 years Scottish Open Championships in Possilpoint Community Centre 130 Denmark Street, Possilpark, Glasgow G22 5LQ .................
Weigh-in 9am to 10am -
Under 14 yrs Male - 5½st / 6½st / 7½st / 8½st / 10½st / Open.
Under 14 yrs Female - 5½st / 6½st / 7½st / 8½st / 10½st / Open.
Under 21's Male - 8½st / 10½st / 12½st / Open.
Under 21's Female - 8½st / 10½st / 12½st / Open.
British Championships at 12½st / 13½st.
Scottish Championships at 11½st / AW (weigh-in 10 – 12noon).

The Academy Shield - will be held on Saturday, 24th November 2012, at Dr Thomlinson's Middle School, Silverton Lane, Rothbury, NE65 7RJ

Ten wrestling events were cancelled in 2012 because of the weather. In the past five years 34 wrestling events could not take place because of mired car parks and wrecked showfields. In an odd-ball way, our own statistics are part of the global warming scenario. Add in the almost total wipe-out of the 2001 season in the year of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, and we find ourselves enduring sustained difficulties year by year to keep our traditional sport in front of the public.

Cancellations cause money shortages both for the Agricultural Shows and for our sport. This year £1.4m was spent on wrestling for the Olympics to fund a single competitor, Olga Butkevych, an Ukrainian till just before the event, who went out in the first round. Our ten cancelled events cost us £200 of affiliation fees, and in our self sustained world that means an important shortfall.

Luckily, various initiatives keep our finances healthy. Board member Chris Bland created a fifty question quiz on Cumbria which was sold round the wrestling rings to raise funds in excess of £1000. Each year Carlisle Wrestling Club hosts a slide show of the season's events and hands over £250. But most importantly all our officials are genuine amateurs who travel far and wide for the love of the sport leaving the funds to pay for the essentials: insurance and efficient administration.

A bigger problem is the dwindling numbers of wrestlers. At the CWWA Governing Board meeting last week measures were discussed to heighten the profile of the sport in the North. One early decision was to mount a poster campaign in schools and on community notice boards. Then some strange words were uttered for the first time in a Board meeting: "Facebook", Twitter", "Database".

Darren Whitfield explained how the Rothbury Wrestling Club used the internet in the form of facebook to communicate with their members. All the youngsters have their smart phones, and are in constant communication with each other. The club's site is not open to all, is well supervised by an adult, and allows all the interaction and visual stimulus associated with the web. Details of how to set about creating a club site is being circulated to the other academies.

A database for Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling will be set up to draw together all the information that is held by the academies and the Governing Board. Simple matters such as wrestlers' birth dates would be immediately accessible, but also renewal dates for coaching and child protection qualifications.

The Wrestling association already has an excellent web-site as a focus of information and record, but more and more, the other tools of the internet are becoming a normal part of our traditional world.

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