Several Port Alberni students practice some wrestling moves that they learned at the kids’ summer wrestling camp at ADSS on Tuesday, July 9. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Young wrestlers learn the basics at summer camp in Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Wrestling Club hosts annual Summer Wrestling Camps

Every year, the Alberni Valley Wrestling Club hosts one of the largest wrestling camps in the province, inviting young athletes from across B.C. to learn from guest coaches.

But the Summer Wrestling Camps start with a Kids Camp, offering a free introduction to the sport of wrestling for elementary school students.

This year’s Kids Camp took place from July 8-10. For young wrestlers who competed in the Alberni Valley Elementary Wrestling League last fall, the Kids Camp is a great opportunity to hone their skills for the upcoming school year. But for those brand new to the sport, it’s an opportunity to give it a try.

Camp director James Messenger explained that Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) wrestlers and coaches visited elementary schools in June to invite students to the upcoming camp.

“It’s summertime, and parents are looking for something for kids to do during the day,” he said. “And we’re always looking to introduce and expose kids to the sport.”

This year’s camp saw about 80 participants, from Kindergarten to Grade 7. Kids learned about the sport of wrestling through games, and learned some of the basics—how to stand, how to turn, how to perform a takedown.

“We keep it pretty free-flowing, and we try to gauge and adjust our groups,” said Messenger. “The big thing is fun and safety. Wrestling’s pretty natural. It’s just about making sure they’re doing it in a safe way.

“Everything your parents told you not to do, you can do here,” he laughed.

The Kids Camp is also an opportunity for high school athletes to learn about coaching. This year, between 10-12 athletes from ADSS were coaching during the three-day event.

“We’re always looking for our next generation of coaches,” said Messenger.

After the Kids Camp is the Elite Camp from July 11-14, with more than 80 young athletes participating from across the province. This year boasted an impressive line-up of clinicians, including hometown Olympian Travis Cross, and two-time World Cup medallist Breanne Graham.

“It’s an opportunity for young wrestlers to learn and wrestle and get coached by different people,” explained Messenger.

Other top clinicians included the two-time All-American Tyler Mclean, NJCWA All-American Phil Mclean and three-time national champion Nolan Badovinac.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Students pick up some pointers from Alberni Valley Wrestling Club coaches. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Younger kids at the wrestling camp on Tuesday, July 9 play a game of tag with a pool noodle. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Just Posted

Photographer captures Port Alberni personalities in black and white portraits

Meet John Douglas, Courtney Naesgaard in double exhibit Jan. 18 at Rollin Art Centre

Alberni Valley Community Foundation opens grant application process for 2020

Nearly $30K available for Port Alberni-based charities

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

B.C. government puts kibosh on drag racing at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

AVDRA was hopeful for a three-year temporary contract to race at the airport

Wet, white and windy winter weather hits Port Alberni

Snow expected to turn to rain on Thursday

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Wind and snow spark power outages across Vancouver Island

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Most Read