Madison Sartian is sporting a new accessory, a gold medal in female wrestling. “I was proud of myself, that I did so well,” the Grade 8 student, who attends H.E. Bourgoin Middle School and trains at Bonnyville Centralized High School (BCHS) is in her second year of wrestling.
The tournament was attended by schools throughout the province, including major centres, like Edmonton and Calgary. Madison’s competition was stiff. The young wrestler was facing teens who had been competing since childhood.
“For me, it was really hard. I didn’t think I would do well,” Madison says at first she was intimidated by the size of her opponents, “they were way bigger than me.” Her coach assured her that size doesn’t matter, “she said, ‘you may look small, but you have a lot of muscle’. I went in there and gave my best.” Madison is adding her recent gold medal to her collection. She has two other golds and a silver since starting wrestling just two years ago.
Wrestling is a fun release laughs Madison, “you can be ruthless. You don’t have to be nice, you don’t need manners. You can be aggressive.”
Madison trains through a program put on by BCHS, which offers wrestling to any kid in the Lakeland, 12 years old and older. The program runs until March with anywhere from four to 20 students depending on the interest. Practices run twice a week for an hour and a half; with a focus on skill, safety and conditioning. Wrestlers compete in three competitions a year, with the possibility of heading to provincials and winning a school banner.
Madison recently won the right to represent Zone 7 at the Alberta Winter Games. The games will be held in Fort McMurray February 16-19, 2018. “I’m excited, it’s going to be my first year. I want to see different people wrestle,” this will be the first year Madison is eligible for the Alberta Winter Games and is excited to see where the sport can take her. “I wanna win!”