Sunday, 23 December 2012

Is British Wrestling a Shambles

My club the Warriors Grappling Academy decided last year to re-join the British Wrestling Association with the unauthorised MMA becoming very popular we want to be linked with a Governing body which had a proper International Backing i.e. FILA. FILA no longer just do Greco and Free Style wrestling it has many wrestling styles within its organisation i.e. Traditional, Beach Wresting, Grappling, Pankration, Amateur MMA. The Warriors is not a stranger to Olympic Free Style President Martin Clarke was Treasurer for the Southern Area some 30 years ago and organised a British Junior Championships at Herne Bay for the BWA, he also won several medals in the wrestling style, his son John won a Silver in the under 18 British in 1990. John qualified as a BWA Coach in his twenties but let the qualification lapse he is now the British Sombo Federation National Coach and the clubs MMA Coach
Yet as soon as we re-joined we noticed there was very little being done in our part of the World and old acquaintances of Martin began to complain about how Eastern Europeans were dominating British Wrestling, there were reports of bad behavior at Wrestling tournaments etc., The Warriors decided under guidance from Martin Clarke not to get involved in the internal Politics.
Many of our members enjoyed watching Olympic wrestling and asked to compete so Martin was given the task of contacting the BWA and offering the services of the Warriors permanent training facility for some small competitions, plus he asked for a Referee to come to the club and teach the rules all at the expense of the Warriors. He also suggested that he would want to introduce an Instructors award scheme very similar to the British Sombo Federation schemes where people with grappling experience can attend a 5 hour course to qualify as Instructor, this gets people involved. The BWA UKCC Course is over 3 separate Saturdays and held in Salford Greater Manchester, this maybe a good course but what newcomer would want to pay the Course fee, Travel cost and give up 3 weekends?
Now we have been told that the BWA have lost their funding and as the BBC report below shows trouble has been brewing for some time and as a member club we had no idea of the problems. None of our emails, faxes, telephone calls have been acknowledged or even replied to, we occasionally get emails from Yvonne Ball advertising courses Salford but when we reply to these there is no answer.
Our dilemma is do we re-join the BWA? Rumour has it they have collapsed and is about to be reformed under a different name and another rumour is that the Eastern European have taken over another is the UKSport are formulating one organisation for all grappling sports including Judo. As with most rumours they are mostly 5% true 95% false but if the BWA are stop this they need to inform their membership what is happening and quickly, I will admit the formation of a Grappling Federation covering all grappling Sports is appealing and sensible but will never happen as all of them are to entrenched.

So what are we to do I have been in contacted with the Welsh National Wrestling Coach who I know he is actively promoting Wrestling and asked him to come to Sittingbourne to do and Instructors and Referees Course. With this knowledge I will incorporate Wrestling Instructors Award scheme in the IBF/BCSA and try and promote the Great sport of Wrestling by applying the old proverb “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain'

British Wrestling shake-up after ‘disappointing’ Olympics
By Nick Hope
BBC Olympic sports reporter
British Wrestling has begun a major shake-up following the end of its controversy-strewn Olympic cycle.
Continue reading the main story
The only way forward is to take a realistic view of the many issues that we face
Malcolm Morley
British Wrestling chairman
Performance director Shaun Morley and head coach Nikolai Kornieiev are both leaving the programme.
British Wrestling had their allocation of three host-nation places for London 2012 reduced to just one for failing to meet performance targets.
Their only representative at the Olympics, Ukrainian-born Olga Butkevych, was defeated in her opening match .
"Olga's performance in the Games was somewhat disappointing but she did her best under difficult and not always ideal circumstances," said British Wrestling chairman Malcolm Morley, Shaun's father.
In a statement on the British Wrestling website,  Morley refused to directly criticise his former colleagues and instead expressed his frustration with the decision of the British Olympic Association (BOA) to strip the sport of two guaranteed places for their athletes at the London Games.
Play media

GB's Butkevych suffers wrestling defeat
"British Wrestling appealed the decision," said Morley.
"The FILA [The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles] president [Raphael Martinetti] wrote a letter of support that our named athletes were capable of a credible performance, but our appeal was turned down."
Morley added: "Their refusal to grant British Wrestling all three host nation places denied the BWA of the most significant part of our legacy."
Coach Kornieiev's contract is not being renewed, while Shaun Morley is understood to have resigned his position before being called to account for the sport's apparent failings, at British Wrestling's annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday.
With the departure of the pair, the future of athletes such as Krasimir Krastanov and English Commonwealth champion Myroslav Dykun, who is currently serving a two-year doping ban and were recruited under the Kornieiev-Morley regime, is uncertain.
Olga's Olympics
Despite her opening-round defeat, Olga Butkevych finished 11th out of 19-55kg wrestlers at the London Games.
Butkevych and fellow Ukrainian-born wrestler Yana Stadnik were both initially recruited as sparring partners to work with British athletes, but began competing for GB in 2007.
Stadnik's British citizenship bid failed to come through in time for London 2012, but both she and Butkevych are due to be the only GB representatives at the women's World Championships in Canada at the end of September.
British Wrestling's performance director Shaun Morley is leaving his post
Commonwealth bronze medallist Leon Rattigan, who is married to Stadnik and who himself narrowly missed the performance qualification criteria for this summer's Games, is taking time away from the sport to consider his future.
"UK Sport funding will only be available to those able to make a compelling case for their Rio potential," wrote British Wrestling [BWA] chief executive Colin Nicholson in a statement on the British Wrestling website  .
Although he and Morley faced criticisms from fellow BWA members at the sport's AGM on Saturday, it is believed they will remain involved until at least November, when UK Sport will decide on what level of funding they will receive for the four years leading into Rio 2016.
The sport admits that after failing to achieve their minimum target of a top-eight place at the London Games there is the "likelihood of significant reduction in funding from UK Sport" from their current level of £1.435m heading into their next Olympic campaign.
"The only way forward is to take a realistic view of the many issues that we face," said Malcolm Morley.
"[We need to] be positive instead of negative, learn from the past, but remember history can never be changed."

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