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28 October 2014
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Pam Spriggs gets ready to land!

James and Pam go Cornish wrestling

BBC Radio Cornwall's presenters James Churchfield and Pam Spriggs leave the safety of the breakfast studio to try out Cornish wrestling ahead of a tournament in Truro. See our gallery and hear a special report.


The ancient sport of Cornish wrestling (or wrasslin' as many call it) has been gaining in popularity once again over recent years. It's a sport that is rich in history with it's origins going back several centuries.

James wishes he was back in the studio

The sport played today owes its rules to the start of the last century.

A tournament is being staged in Truro near the city's cathedral on Saturday 10 September 2005 which will give you an opportunity to find out more about the sport, and join the Cornish Wrestling Association.

BBC Radio Cornwall's breakfast presenters James Churchfield and Pam Spriggs were invited to try out the sport at the Wadebridge Sports Centre and they were soon put through their paces. It was a good opportunity to find out how the world looked upside down...and it wasn't long before both presenters ended up on the floor, not once, but time and time again.

We captured the brave pair in our photo gallery and you can hear a report from their lesson as well. Just click on the links below - but be aware this is not for the faint hearted!

A slightly bewildered Pam Spriggs

James and Pam's lesson came ahead of the Cornish Wrestling Tournament which is being staged on Saturday 10 September at 11am on the Cathedral Green by Truro Cathedral.

The main event will be to decide the 2005 Light Heavyweight Champion. The Walter Hicks Cup will be presented by Canon Perran Gay, acting Dean Of Truro Cathedral.

Other events on the day will include a Boys Tournament and the Truro All-Comers tournament.

Wrasslin' background

Cornish wrestling or 'wrasslin' is an ancient sport that originally started back in the 13th century. 

The sport's origins are lost in the mists of time - at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 Cornish wrestlers led the English Army into war.

Sykes Chapman and Francis Gregory - wrestlers

In the sixteenth century King Henry VIII defeated Francis I of France in a famous wrestling match on the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

What is known with certainty is that by the middle of the 19th century wrestling was the most popular sport in the county.

Newspaper accounts reveal how hundreds of wrestlers would compete over several days watched by crowds of up to twenty thousand people.

Today clubs like The Cornish Wrestling Association keep the sport's name alive and well in Cornwall.

The tournament on Saturday 10 September 2005 is part of a massive day of events in Truro. There will be samba dancing in Lemon Quay and various bands playing in the city. 

The main carnival will assemble at Hendra during the afternoon and the procession at 6pm. There will also be a grand fireworkds finale at 10.15pm on Lemon Quay.

Find out more about Cornish Wrestling on 01872 242 004 

last updated: 09/09/05
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