Cumberland wrestling round-up
Much discussion at the Annual General Meeting of the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association focused on money matters and weight.
Our wrestling survives on subsistence level finances, with the accounts near balancing point because of occasional donations rather than regular income.
Hence a membership drive, a bigger, season-long raffle, and corporate sponsorship were all mooted.
Money helps, but it is the wrestlers who keep our sport alive, and full credit was given to the younger generation of wrestlers who added so much to the season last year.
Concern was expressed about two aspects of youth wrestling.
Firstly the lack of weights competitions for the lighter youths, and also the problem of mismatches.
Our wrestling is proudly 'open to the world', but that sometimes means that tiny tots meet up with young giants in the age competitions.
Safety is an issue, though the bigger competitors almost always handle their smaller counterparts with care and consideration, but there is the more insidious issue of the image of the sport.
If we want our sport to be taken seriously, then mismatches undermine that aim.
The meeting felt that it should be a duty of the referee to stop any unsuitable entries.
Where there are smaller competitors ready to rumble, then impromptu competitions for them alone would be a crowd-pleasing answer.
The wider weight problem of satisfying the needs of skilful lightweight boys and girls who were always competing at a significant disadvantage in age categories came to the conclusion that where possible junior categories should be more diverse.
Although each event chooses its own competitions there was a consensus that weights such as under-15 years/eight stones and under-18/10st should be pushed at the major events.
There was also a suggestion that simply having light-weights such as 7st or 9st, without age stipulation, would encourage more participation.
Finally, Alan Coulthard stepped down as the CWWA President and I was voted in for another stint in the position. Joe Harrington is the new Vice-President.