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Canada girls and South African boys take team titles at Commonwealth Youth Championships

The inagural Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships  was recently held in Scotland for male and female wrestlers ( 16-18 years of age) on  July 15 -16, 2006 at the  famous Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in  the city of Glasgow. Teams that  competed  were from  Canada,  England,  Malta,  New  Zealand,  Scotland,  South Africa  and  Wales.

The Commonwealth Youth Wrestling event was sanctioned by  FILA  (world wrestling governing body) ,  Commonwealth Games Federation and  the Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association.

A number of representatives of  the International  and National sports governing bodies were present at the 2006 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships.  Representing  FILA  was FILA delegate,  Mr. John Dawson of Canada, representing Commonwealth Games Federation was it's Secretary - Ms. Louise Martin.   Representing the Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association was Josip Mrkoci - Chairman, of the Executive Committee and Mr. Sandy McNeil - member of the Executive Committee &  a member of British Amateur Wrestling Association.  Representing British Wrestling Association was it's president Mr. Malcom Morley and representing Scottish Wrestling Association was Mr. Michael Cavanagh.

The Scottish Wrestling Association hosting this  event chose  Kelvin Hall Sports Arena for this competition as it is the premier location for sporting events  in Glasgow.  Kelvin Hall is located right across from the equally famous  Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and is walking distance to Glasgow University.  In addition to the Scottish Wrestling Association and the Organizing Committee,  the Commonwealth Youth Wrestling event's major supporters were Glasgow city Council  (Candidate city for 2014 Commonwealth Games)  and  The Commonwealth  Games  Council for Scotland.

It was unfortunate that the British High Commission did not issue Visas to a number of African teams  which would have had 11 nations competing at the the inagural Commonwealth Youth Championships.   Nigeria, with a strong tradition in wrestling (national sport) and  a highly  competative wrestling team  (female - African champions)  within the Commonwealth  was also refused visas for the Commonwealth competition.  India,  a Commonwealth power in Wrestling  did not show,  although they did send an e-mail  to the Organizing Committee stating that they would take part.

The Wrestling competition  for the team trophy was a contest between the  two top  teams, a team from South Africa and a team from Canada ( majority from Ontario).  In the hunt for the girls Commonwealth Youth Wrestling team trophy, the Canadian team won the Team title  with 5 - GOLD  and  4 - Silver medals.  South African girls  placed  second with  4 - GOLD  and 2 - Silver medals.   The  home team,  Scotland  placed third with  1 - Bronze medal at  52kg  ( Vicky  Kirk ).

The  Canadian Gold medalists were  - 46kg. - Jade Parsons (Ont.),  49kg. - Tessa Gallinger (Ont.), 52kg. -  Diana Ford (Ont.),  60kg. -  Heide Erdle (N.B.)   and   70kg. -  Emmalee English (Ont.).  Of the Ontario girls team, the dominant competitor was Jade Parsons. She also won a gold medal at the second  wrestling competition, the Scottish International Tournament called " Braveheart Youth Wrestling Championships"  on July 21 at the Univeristy of Strathclyde Sports Center in  Glasgow.

The majority of the Canadian wrestling team members were  from the province of Ontario.  Also a  number of wrestlers competing for Canada  were from the province of New Brunswick.   Heide Erdle (60gk) of New Brunswick  also won both competitions and had  an outstanding performance.  Although,  the Canadian girls won the the Team title,  the title for the best female wrestler of the 2006 Commonwealth Youth Championships went to South African wrestler - ZUMICKE  GERINGEL ( 56kg).

In the men's Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships, the South African team dominated the competition. Without a doubt it was a great surprise to the Canadian and other Commonwealth teams  that  the South African wrestlers  won 8 out of 10 weight classes  and the Team title.

The South African Gold medalist were - 42kg - Adolf Khuzwayo,  46kg - Pierre Botha,  50kg - Rainor Els,  54kg - Pieter van Schyff,  63kg - Pieter Pienaar,  69kg -   Rassie Erasmus,  76kg - Kurt Botha,  85kg - Martin van Staden.  Of the South African men's team the outstanding wrestler was Pieter van Schyff (54kg).

Canada placed second as a team and England placed third. Canada's sole gold medalist  was Vince Cormier (N.B.) at 58kg. The other gold medal was won by England's  100kg  wrestler - Buster Clayden.  Vince Cormier  was one of  the  outstanding wrestlers at the Commonwealth Championships and  he also won the Braveheart Youth Tournament.  For his open and  total wrestling style in each match,  VINCE  CORMIER (58kg)  was selected as the best male wrestler of the 2006 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships.

Louise Martin,  the  President of  The Commonwealth Games Council  for Scotland  &  Secretary of  the Commonwealth Games Federation  was present at the Commonwealth Youth  wrestling finals and gave out the medals to the  winners.

Following the Commonwealth Youth Championships a  Commonwealth wrestling training camp was held from July 17-20  with clinician -  GIA  SISSAOURI , 2001 World Champion and Pan-Am Games and Commonwealth Games gold medalist. The wrestling camp was attended by all of the Commonwealth wrestling teams as a preparation for the " Braveheart Youth Wrestling Championships" on July 21-22.

The city of Glasgow played host to all of the wrestlers, coaches, officials, team leaders and organizing committee at a formal banquet held at the Glasgow City Hall.   Bailie - Margaret McCafferty, JP was  the host representing the Glasgow City Council. The interior of the city hall is completely made out of marlbe, and it is one the grandest buildings in Glasgow. On the occassion of the formal banquet by the city of Glasgow the Commonwealth team trophies were given and the best wrestler awards for male and female categories were announced.

The first Commonwealth Youth Championships did not have  as many teams as expected , but  what it lacked in numbers it made up in quality of wrestling on the mat.  Many officials were suprised how good the South African wrestling team was. It is believed that at this age bracket the wrestling teams  from  the Commonwealth are more competitive. 

The next  Commonwealth Youth Wrestling  Championships in two years will indeed be interesting to watch with the added participation of India,  Nigeria and Pakistan. Will South Africa and Canada be able to defend their Team titles ?


Commonwealth Amateur Wrestling Association - WEB  SITE .....

at Glasgow, SCOTLAND, July 15-16, 2006

1. - Adolf Khuzwayo - South Africa

1. - Pierre Botha - South Africa
2. - Carlo van Wyk - South Africa
3. - Craig McKenna - Scotland

1. - Rainor Els - South Africa
2. - Reiner Louw - South Africa
3. - John Medeiros - Canada

1. - Pieter van Schyff - South Africa
2. - C.J. van Der Walt - South Africa
3. - Kieran Malone - Scotland

1. - Vince Cormier - Canada
2. - Chris Odendaal - South Africa
3. - Alan Moffat - Canada

1. - Pieter Pienaar - South Africa
2. - Justin van Zyl - South Africa
3. - Cody Airdrie - Canada

1. - Rassie Erasmus - South Africa
2. - Philip Roberts - England
3. - Cristopher Laverick - Canada

1. - Kurt Botha - South Africa
2. - Leon Rattigan - England
3. - Francois Gerber - South Africa

1. - Martin van Staden - South Africa
2. - Eric Feunekes - Canada
3. - Waldo Etzebeth - South Africa

1. - Buster Clayden - England
2. - Jacobus van der Westhuizen - South Africa
3. - Joe Moody - New Zealand

Best Male Wrestler Award :  58kg -Vince Cormier - CANADA


1. - Bramilda Leeaw - South Africa

1. - Michelle Hoogkgk - South Africa
2. - Juanita Haywood - South Africa
3. - Jasmine Scobie - Canada

1. - Jade Parsons - Canada
2. - Krista Betts - Canada
3. - Zara D' Abbadie - South Africa

1. - Tessa Gallinger - Canada
2. - Emile Guitard - Canada

1. - Diana Ford - Canada
2. - Blaire Brown - Canada
3. - Vicky Kirk - Scotland

1. - Zumicke Geringel - South Africa
2. - Samantha Trundle - Canada
3. - Carly Wright - Canada

1. - Heide Erdle - Canada
2. - Alexis Kilroy - Canada
3. - Chanell Engelbrecht - South Africa

1. - Desire Smith - South Africa
2. - Melinda Marias - South Africa
3. - Laura Steffler - Canada

1. - Emmalee English - Canada

Best Female Wrestler Award :  56kg.  -  Zumicke Geringel - South Africa

FEMALE  TEAM  TROPHY :  was won by -  CANADA
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