Wrestling practices started this week for teams all over the province. For the Westsider Wrestling Club it was a start of a new season and the start of something entirely new. There was the usual high school practices where the coaches reacquaint themselves with returning wrestlers and meet a new group of bright eyed, mostly grade 8 kids. Those practices are followed up by group after group of elementary wrestlers who are learning a lot about how to move their bodies and play some games. This year, however, they’ve added something new, an adult program. After seeing some photos on Instagram (@westsider_wrestling), we decided to catch up with head coach Chris Thom to find out more about it. Here is what he had to say:
“We’ve been working really hard over the last few years to build the club up. We started from just a handful of high school kids to over a hundred now when you add the elementary and the high school together. It has been a lot of fun and we hope the growth keeps happening. Over the years we have heard from random people and had a few parents ask if there was any way they could do some wrestling too. I had never really heard of any non-competitive wrestling program for anyone older than high school and I really think that has been lacking in the wrestling community. I also thought back about how at SFU I wrestled 149 lbs and now I’m more like 200lbs. Let’s just say that isn’t all muscle and I didn’t get any taller. There’s no better workout than a wrestling practice, so, we started a program. I’m not sure if this is the start of a comeback for me, but we hope the program can grow and at least we will all be getting some exercise.”
Westsider Wrestling Club is based out of Kitsilano Secondary School and is holding the adult practices on Wednesdays from 7:30~8:45pm. The program is fitness based and combines some wrestling movements, resistance drills with partners and some basic technique to make for a great workout. No experience necessary and the first practice is free!