EDITORIAL: Not wrestlers but citizens

Every athlete learns how much they matter to their community, not just as an athlete, but as a person.

Alberni Wrestling celebrates its 37th anniversary with the annual Alberni Wrestling Invitational taking place at Alberni District Secondary School this weekend.

The program is coming full circle, having grown from a small invitational at AW Neill Middle School’s gymnasium to a full-blown, 700-athlete event at the AV Multiplex, back to a smaller more streamlined event at the still-new high school.

While the program’s achievements on the mat should be noted—five boys’ provincial titles, four girls’ B.C. titles and four aggregate titles, and more than 400 athletes earning B.C. titles since 1980—what we admire most about the program is how it focuses on growing citizens.

Alberni Wrestling president and former head coach Tom McEvay will be the first to tell you the program celebrates its students first, and their achievements on the mat second. He is most proud of the legacy the program has left, and the fact that 15 alumni have returned to coach, including 2008 Olympian Travis Cross.

Not every athlete will challenge for a provincial championship, yet every athlete is celebrated.

Every athlete learns how much they matter to their community, not just as an athlete, but as a person.

So this weekend, we urge people to go by ADSS and watch some of the best wrestlers in the province compete at one of B.C.’s most revered invitational tournaments, and celebrate excellence.

Most of all, celebrate the athletes and the people they are striving to become.

— Alberni Valley News