27 June 2023
Wrestling is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. With a range of styles, from the Olympic forms of Greco-Roman and freestyle to “Pro Wrestling” (as seen in the WWE), there is a lot to explore and have a go at. Whereas wrestling competitions and classes aren’t as common as some other sports and martial arts in the country, there are some to be found. Below are a selection of current or recent competitions that are open for children.
As the name suggests, this is a competition for the freestyle form of wrestling, which is the major form for most competitions. It’s held each year in September at the University of Birmingham Sport and Fitness Centre. There are 12 classes, with 6 age grades offered for both male and female, starting with under 7s and running to under 17s. The competition is open to anybody, but it’s highly recommended that your child is affiliated with a club before registering and has at least some experience being trained by a registered wrestling coach. The competition is always popular, and even if you’re not competing you can go along as a spectator to enjoy the day’s events.
Around May or June, the British Junior Wrestling Championships take place, with age categories ranging from under 9s to under 20s. The competition is held in a round robin, with all entrants from each category wrestling one another once to decide the overall winner. The championships are affiliated with the British Wrestling Association and all bookings can be made through their website. Keep an eye on the site for details of the venue for next year’s event.
This is a new, fun one-day event open to all novice wrestlers of the freestyle form. The idea of the competition is to allow children from any club across the country to come along and take part in a competition. The league is organised by Neon Wrestling Club in Southampton and is held at the Testlands Hub leisure centre, also in Southampton. Age categories range from under 9 to under 17, with different categories available for males and females.
To enter this one your child will need to already attend a wrestling club affiliated with one of the UKs official wrestling associations, and must hold a current licence. The entrants are grouped into categories, with category C for ages 6 - 16, B for ages 15 - 17 and A for ages 17 - 20. Children are matched to opponents of similar size and build. These championships can be exciting as they are the gateway to competing for the Welsh national freestyle wrestling team.
Like the Welsh championships, entrants to this competition must be a member of a British Wrestling Association affiliated club. Held in a new venue each year, this competition features age categories from under 9 through to under 20. Within each age category there are further subdivisions for weight, with all children matched to opponents roughly the same size. This competition is well attended every year and makes for a fun and enjoyable day out as a spectator, too. It might be just the thing to get your child interested in wrestling.