Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association

The problems surrounding organisation of CWWA wrestling events


Monday May 29th - 1.30 - Northumberland Show - U10yrs / U12yrs / U15yrs / U18yrs / 12st World Championship / 13½st / AW/ Ladies 10st / Ladies AW
Thursday June 1st - 6pm - Killington Sports

Normally, I would be writing about the wrestling at Sedbergh Gala, but this year it did not happen. The event seemed to be popular with big entries for the fell races and a lot of people watching. Its demise was not because of storm damage or financial disaster, but simply because there were problems in finding people to serve on the committee.
Much the same thing happened in Great Langdale in recent years when the existing Gala committee put out an ultimatum that unless new, enthusiastic people joined them, the event would fold. In their case the situation was rescued and last year hordes of runners once more took to the nearby hills for the fell races, and wrestling took place in its neat ring.

It set me thinking about the labour force needed to put on an event. Even one area, like the wrestling, needs a swarm of enthusiastic people to sustain each event. Someone has to turn up with a lawn-mower the night before. Small straw bales or chairs from the Village Hall circle the ring; they did not fall there out of the sky. Someone has to find the bag of sawdust which marks out the wrestling area. A speaker system does not just magic itself into position.

The staff at Sedbergh Gala Behind the wrestlers, Norah Hayhurst runs the table at Sedbergh

On the day itself a minimum staff of five is needed for the smooth running of a wrestling event according to the CWWA rules. The officials comprise two judges and a referee, with the latter responsible for safety checks and weighing-in of wrestlers. At the table at least one person is needed to take the entries, write the tickets, and act as paymaster. Any successful wrestling event these days has to have someone on the microphone to rally the wrestlers, and keep the crowd informed and amused. All these people did not just turn up by accident; someone has taken responsibility and liaised with the event committee.

Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling is lucky to have so many people willing to volunteer, travel the miles, and do the work without any thought of cost. We may have money prizes for the wrestlers, but the organisation of the sport is a triumph of amateurism at its best.

Even though there has been no Sedbergh Gala, that does not mean there has been no wrestling in the town. This week Chris Bland will once more take a wrestling session for the pupils at Sedbergh School, which will be half coaching and half competitive. Win some; lose some.

The southern area YFC Field Day held their wrestling competition in the Westmorland Show car park before the main event hosted by Broughton YFC. Sedbergh featured again with two of the four categories won by Sedbergh YFC members; or to put it another way two members of the Hodgson family from Dentdale. Hannah won the Ladies 10st; double-champion Connie won the Ladies Open; and cousin Daryl was second in the Men's All Weights.

Not unexpectedly, the trained wrestlers were to the fore with Sam Wilson and William Hayhurst of Kendal Academy both winning their section.

(Written by Roger Robson ..... © Photographs by Roger Robson, Jill Robson, Julian Richardson, Linda Scott or Webmaster {2017})

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