Performance Pathway


British Wrestling operates a talent and performance pathway consisting of 4 squads supported by Nation and Region Squads. This centralised squad system is in place to enable the best wrestlers from across the UK to come together regularly to train and benefit from the best coaching available in the UK.  

Senior Squad 

The senior squad consists of athletes that have demonstrated a level of performance and commitment that warrants selection for senior Home Nation and GB representation with a focus on developing wrestlers for Commonwealth Games, European and World Championships. The ultimate aim being qualification and success at the Olympic Games. 

The squad trains monthly at the British Wrestling Academy and across the home nations at multiple sites. Training weekends consist of on the mat technical and physical sessions supplemented with workshops on topics such as anti-doping, nutrition and strength and conditioning delivered by volunteer support staff including a strength and conditioning coach, nutritionist, performance analyst and sports psychologist. 

Athletes are tiered based on performance and commitment into one of three tiers. Those tiers provide support for those athletes from England via Sport England funding based on the levels below: 

  • Tier 1 80% of expenses costs 
  • Tier 2 50% of expenses costs 
  • Tier 3 no financial support 

Selection to the senior squad is via talent identification which may occur through the GB Talent Pathway or being spotted at national or international competitions. Athletes are offered a trial and must attend three consecutive squad weekends before being accepted onto the squad. The exception to this is when they are considered an overseas athlete, living and training abroad.  

U23 Squad 

The Under 23 squad consists of a small cohort of athletes who have reached the Junior and Under 23 international age groups and are continuing to develop on a pathway for senior Home Nation and GB selection in the future.  

The squad trains with the Senior Squad providing an opportunity for these young athletes to train with other seniors at similar weights and benefit from the intense training environment. The focus for these athletes is on continuing their development through accessing training and competitive opportunities as they transition to senior competition. 

There is no expenses support from British Wrestling and unless elevated to the GBR Senior Squad, the athletes sit in Tier 3 

Selection to the U23 squad is via talent identification which may occur through the GB Talent Pathway or being spotted at national competitions.  

Talent Squad 

The Talent Squad consists of athletes at UWW Cadet & U15 age groups who have demonstrated a level of talent and commitment to wrestling that puts them on a pathway to senior GB representation. 

The squad trains monthly at the British Wrestling Academy and accesses a series of camps and UWW competitions focused on developing the skills and experience of young wrestlers preparing them to compete for GB at European and World Age Group Championships. 

There is no planned expenses support from British Wrestling for this squad however there are opportunities to access external funding and advice is provided to athletes and parents on how to access this.  

Selection to the Talent Squad is based on achieving an above-average mark in terms of execution of the Orange Technical Award and the BWA Physical Testing Protocols. Athletes should also be not less than 13 years of age and have at least 12 months of experience at Regional level.  

Development Squad 

The Development Squad consists of UWW Pre-School age group wrestlers who have demonstrated an exceptional ability at a young age and coaches feel they will benefit from the increased exposure and training that the squad provides.  

The squad trains with the Talent Squad at the British Wrestling Academy and accesses a series of camps focused on developing the skills, physical ability and experience of young wrestlers. 

There is no planned expenses support from British Wrestling for this squad however there are opportunities to access external funding and advice is provided to athletes and parents on how to access this. 

Selection to the Development Squad is via nomination by National Coach (Region) and is based on their perceived commitment and ability. Note this is done on an individual basis and does not have a bearing on future selection to other squads.  

Squad Operations 

Each squad is managed by a volunteer squad manager and a team of GB coaches.  

Wrestlers can move in and out of appropriate squads at the discretion of the squad management at any time. Each squad generally operates from January through to November with a new squad being launched in January. 

Nation and Region Squads 

Nation and region squads which operate from 12-18. Nation and Region Squads are the first step on the performance pathway, selection is based on achieving Orange Award standard, credible domestic competition performances and demonstrating a commitment to wrestling at the highest level. Clubs can nominate athletes to each squad and a trial will be offered with the national or regional coach making a final decision on squad membership. 

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