International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The agenda to accelerate gender parity has gathered pace at different levels and across sectors including sports.
There’s no denying the fact that freestyle wrestling has historically been a male-dominated sport. Although we have had notable females within the sport such as Ellen Morris (our first female director) and athletes Yana Rattigan and Olga Butkevych our efforts to level the playing field have been more intentional in the last few years.
When Sport England set the benchmark for boards of NGB to be made up of at least 30% women, the British Wrestling Association was one of the first NGBs to be compliant. During the pandemic, we have provided our young female wrestlers with unique training opportunities via the Wrestle Like a Girl programme.
Our female membership has grown by 6 per cent to 15% in the last 3 years. Whilst we are proud of this, we also know that we must keep our foot in the gas if we truly want to attract more female wrestlers, coaches, referees, volunteers and board members to our sport.
We would like to use IWD2020 as an opportunity to acknowledge the next generation of talent and introduce to some of our most promising female athletes.
Kelsey made her debut as a senior at the 2019 English Senior Open Championships winning all of her matches in the 62kg category.
The Aspull Club Warrior has been making a name for herself at international competitions for the last few years. She has competed in the European Championships and taken gold at English junior championships.
Prior to joining the National Talent Squad, Shannon won the English Junior Championship, Scottish Championship and British Junior Championships in her category in 2019
Abbie has enjoyed success on the mat with wins at the Scottish Championship and now wrestles as part of the U23s team
Tj is a young strong woman with great success in domestic freestyle wrestling competitions now her sights set on international success. A real inspiration for others.
Daina is an inspiration to all in Wrestling in Northern Ireland with probably the best achievements ever held by a female wrestler in NI. Always trying to better herself and others.