Young wrestlers from across Central and South Alberta converged on David Thompson High School for the Crank Cup over the weekend.
The competition had wrestlers from clubs in Calgary, Cochrane and Rocky Mountain House to name a few.
According to Coach Adam Laporte, from Crank Wrestling Club, the tournament has really grown over the past seven or so years.
“We started the tournament in Eckville and we had very few people, both competing and watching,” Laporte explained.
Since the days in the gym in Eckville, the tournament was also housed at the school in Condor before finding it’s current home at David Thompson High School.
With each move the tournament has grown. Now the tournament attracts participants from as far away as Calgary.
“When we first came [to David Thompson High School] the gym was practically empty [of spectators]. Now I think we average around 70 spectators during the tournament, which is great.”
The tournament on Jan. 20 was for wrestlers just beginning their training. Most of the wrestlers were in their first or second year of wrestling, and were between the ages of five and 14.
The set-up for the tournament is also a little different from other similar tournaments.
Each club will have all their matches in one block, that way they are done and can leave early, rather than waiting the entire day for just one match at the end.
“It works better this way. It’s a lot for kids, especially the really young ones, to wait around all day for one match,” said Laporte.
After the tournament, which went from 10 a.m to roughly 1:30 p.m., Laporte arranged for a professional wrestling camp by Dylon Stone with Canadian Wrestling Coalition.
Stone taught the kids safe techniques seen by wrestlers on television.
“It’s one of the first things we are asked, ‘When can I hit someone with a chair?’” Laporte said. “So I figured we better get the professionals in here.”
The type of wrestling taught by Stone is pretty different from what is taught at Crank Wrestling Club, but Laporte said the kids seemed to have a lot of fun learning tricks, pins and flips.
“[Professional wrestling] is more theatrical, it’s telling a story,” said Laporte.
In the Schoolboy/girl and Junior Cadet divisions the top two medalists in their weight class are listed below.