Moving Along the Talent Pathway: Young Wrestlers Achieve GB Places

Two young North West athletes have taken an enourmous step along the talent pathway by securing places on the Great Britian National Talent Squad. Both Ben Pollin and Chloe Wilson are Freestyle Wrestlers and recently attended the national academy in Salford, England.
Chloe and Ben came to the attention of the GB national coaches after excellent displays at the British Championships in October and will travelled with the NI Talent Development Coach to the British Wrestling Academy hoping to break into a squad which regularly competes on the European circuit.
As a result, the Northern Ireland Wrestling Association (NIWA) is pleased to announce that both athletes impressed and will be invited back to the National Talent Squad on Saturday 26 April 2014 for further testing of their fitness and technical ability.
Club Coach, Martin McLaughlin said, “I think this is a reflection on the whole club because there are a number of other young people working hard to achieve success. Chloe and Ben have been pushed hard by their training partners and they would not be ready for this challenge without that additional help over the Christmas period”.
Martin added, “Freestyle Wrestling is a wonderful sport, one which develops speed, strength, balance and coordination amongst its practitioners. It’s suitable for males and females but above all else it’s safe and tightly regulated”
Both athletes are also members of the North West Talent Project which is organised in partnership with National Governing Bodies, Derry City Council and Sport Northern Ireland. The aim is to implement bespoke Governing Body programmes that will maximise the potential for Talent Development within the North West area in the sports of Wrestling, Fencing, Judo, Mountaineering, Hockey and Rugby.
Michael Cooke from Sport NI said, “This is precisely the development we’ve been working towards for the past few years, I know the local coaching staff are very excited about the opportunity, for sure, it did not happen overnight and I hope to see more wrestlers on a similar journey”        
Freestyle Wrestling is an Olympic and Commonwealth sport and although it is relatively new to the North West, its popularity is beginning to grow and local clubs now have the evidence that there is raw talent to work with in this area.
The Waterside Sharks Takedown Club train every Tuesday and Thursday evening at the Team Torres gym, Unit 10, Bay Road, Derry, BT48 7SE. More information about Olympic Wrestling can be obtained from the website