Two young wrestlers get ready to grapple at last week’s East-Central Francophone school’s wrestling meet. Image credit: Troy Gratton.
East-Central Francophone School division ran their youth wrestling tournament for Grades 2-6 last week.
École Voyageur school in Cold Lake won their second banner in ten years for their showing throughout the age and weight categories against competition from École des Beaux-Lacs, École de Beauséjour, École du Sommet and École Sainte Catherine.
The top six competitors in each category earn a ribbon and points towards the school’s final score to determine the overall winner.
Troy Gratton, Conseil scolaire Centre-Est school division, said they love running the tournament.
It’s a sport that mirrors life, he said.
“Many kids look forward to this event every year. The sport is very inclusive. Truthfully, whether you are tall, short, bigger, or smaller or heavier or lighter, there is a category for everyone.
“Wrestling is an opportunity to show how much grit and determination you have. It challenges you. It prepares kids for life. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The key is to get back up and keep trying. Most kids do that and show courage to keep coming year after year.”
This wrestling meet was in the largest in the division’s ten-year history hosted at École du Sommet.
They saw 218 participants hit the mat, which is an increase of 70 athletes from just two years before, and more than doubling the number of wrestlers from their first year.
“Judging by the participation totals over the years, we definitely see an interest in the sport. Two communities even took the program a step further and offer a junior high and high school program,” said Gratton.
École du Sommet and École de Beauséjour each extend their wrestling programs.
Gratton said the Plamandon school has had two female provincial finalists and won a provincial banner, thanks to an early start from this tournament, and coach Darcy Plamandon.
Meanwhile, David Fillion runs the wrestling program at École du Sommet and is looking to reach similar results as the program develops.