Middleton and Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club took to the road in the first outing of 2011, coming away from the British Novices 2011 event with an array of medals.
The club was in Manchester and although many of their wrestlers had too much experience to compete, with the strict rules stipulating competitors should have three years or less in experience, M&W still managed to field a talented squad of 19.
With several years of competitions under their belts, the likes of 23kg Thomas Phillips and 30kg Harriette Phillips, 25kg Lewis Brown and 35kg Max Walker showed a no-nonsense approach as they led by example, all taking gold with outstanding and solid performances.
The club’s youngest trio of grapplers came in the shape of five-year-olds Harry Phillips 21kg, Grace Doxey 19kg and Leila Brown 19kg with Harry and Leila doing the club proud by winning a pair of silvers. It was Grace who stole the show though, with a gold medal.
Also getting onto second step on the podium and definitely proving themselves stars of the future were 24kg Sophie Phillips, 51kg Amy Doxey, 31kg Kieran Robinson and 23kg Thomas Champion, all of them just missing out on gold against more experienced wrestlers.
Much-improved performances saw 31kg James Colebourne and Shaun Thorpe 34kg take bronze in two very tough weight categories and 39kg Brandon Harrison beat stablemate Josh Arnold in a great wrestle-off for third place.
Chelsea Stone 24kg and 45kg Reuben Walker battled hard all day and were well rewarded for their efforts with a pair of bronzes.
In his first-ever competition, newcomer Mikey Bervan-Beirne 30kg showed plenty of guts and determination but unfortunately was also shown that it’s not always good to be on the wrong end when being dumped from a great height.
Nevertheless, considerable credit needs to be given to the youngster, who carried on regardless to take a well-deserved bronze medal and get his collection off to an impressive start.
Last but certainly not least was 52kg Eric Walker, in only his second outing for the club, who came in just outside the medals with fourth place and impressed his coaches enough to earn wrestler of the competition.
Next up for the youngsters will be a Midlands Invitational event, to be held in Nottingham on Saturday, February 26.
Middleton & Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club meets at Middleton Village Hall every Monday and Wednesday.
Sessions for under 11s run from 6.30pm until 8pm while over 11s can come along from 8pm to 9.30pm. Interested parties are welcome.