Wrestling Tiger cubs show skills

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

They might be small, but the Tawa Tigers ju­nior wrestlers have a mighty roar.

Eleven Tiger cubs, aged 6 to 10, will com­pete this week­end in an in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment at Te Rau­paraha Arena. While older wrestlers will get a chance to grap­ple vis­it­ing Amer­i­can wrestlers in the tour­na­ment, the ju­niors will stick to Kiwi op­po­nents in their weight range.

The Tawa Tigers have had an in­flux of young wrestlers this year, who are learn­ing the sport quickly and well, says se­nior coach Scott Lau­ren­son, who once coached Olympic wrestlers.

‘‘It’s been ab­so­lutely mar­vel­lous,’’ he says.

Tawa is the only wrestling club in the Welling­ton re­gion, so some ded­i­cated ath­letes travel from as far as Wainuiomata to prac­tise and com­pete.

Wrestling is a sport that needs pro­fes­sional coach­ing, he says.

‘‘It’s a hard sport. Par­ents can’t teach it, not like rugby and soc­cer.

‘‘With wrestling, you’ve got to know what you’re do­ing.’’

The Tigers are seek­ing spon­sor­ship for coach­ing, travel and uni­forms – the kids only have sec­ond-hand togs at present.

Ten- year- old Georgina Muir be­gan wrestling this year af­ter fall­ing in love with the sport on tele­vi­sion. ‘‘I just wanted to wres­tle,’’ she says. She re­cently won two out of three bouts at a Feather­ston mini-tour­na­ment, and has no trou­ble beat­ing boys in her weight range.

The 2012 New Zealand Club Wrestling and Grap­pling Cham­pi­onships at Te Rau­paraha Arena, free en­try. Fri­day, Au­gust 3: New Zealand v United States test, 7.30pm in the small gym. Satur­day, Au­gust 4: bouts all day from 9am till 5pm.

Grap­ple growl: The Tawa Tigers will show their stripes at an in­ter­na­tional wrestling bout this week­end at Te Rau­paraha Arena. From left are Ol­lie Agate, 6, Cas­sidy At­tree, 8, Ayse Kekec, 8, Georgina Muir, 10, Reuben Ren­ner, 8, and Bay­ley Lat­ter, 8.

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