Of­fi­cially awe­some

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

BEL­MONT wrestling coach Jad­ranko ‘Adrian’ Te­sanovic has been made an of­fi­cial for the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games, in recog­ni­tion of his con­tri­bu­tion to the sport.

Mr Te­sanovic was 10 when he be­gan his ca­reer in Gre­coRo­man wrestling.

At 22 he com­peted at the 1988 Seoul Olympics for what was then Yu­goslavia.

“Wrestling is part of the cul­ture in Eastern Europe,” Mr Te­sanovic said.

“Greco-Ro­man is the purest form of wrestling; you can only use your arms and up­per body and it takes a lot of strength but also strat­egy.” “It has over 600 moves.” Con­flict in Croa­tia drove his fam­ily to Bos­nia, where they were trapped when war broke out in the Balkans.

“It was a hor­ri­ble time,” Mr Te­sanovic said.

Drafted into the mil­i­tary po­lice, he was part of a group who risked their lives to res­cue a Mus­lim man by smug­gling him into UN ter­ri­tory in Croa­tia.

Wrestling club Bel­mont Wolves’ man­ager John Al­lan called Mr Te­sanovic “a man of the high­est in­tegrity”.

“He’s a man who has gone through so much ad­ver­sity (to be­come) a hard-work­ing im­mi­grant and a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the Bel­mont sport­ing com­mu­nity.”

“My wife (Sanja) is an en­gi­neer; she’s a very brave and con­fi­dent, pushy per­son,” Mr Te­sanovic said. “I’m not lazy, it’s just my ge­net­ics, but when­ever I wanted to stop, she tells me to keep go­ing.”

The cou­ple ar­rived in WA as refugees in 1997. Along­side coach­ing wrestling at MMA 24/7 in Bel­mont, Mr Te­sanovic found a new pas­sion as an as­sis­tant phys­io­ther­a­pist at Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal.

He also be­came a father of three, adopt­ing his brother’s chil­dren when he died five years ago.

All three have shown a tal­ent for wrestling, with the youngest, Mia (12), win­ning gold at the Aus­tralian Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in 2016.

“We’re teach­ing so many kids; there are 25 in our class. The sport is grow­ing and Aus­tralia has a real op­por­tu­nity to be­come an in­ter­na­tional wrestling com­peti­tor.”

Coach Adrian Te­sanovic. Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son d464216

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