For the third year running the Northern Ireland Wrestling Association has sent athletes to a winter training camp in Malta and the week will be rounded off with entering the Malta Open.
On this occasion a Senior Developmental Squad, under the guidance of Bruce Irwin, was selected and wrestlers include Aimee McElhatton, Gavin Warrington, Hugh McCloskey, Mark Connor, Mel McTaggert, Jason Kerr and Andrew Purssell.
Over time, a strong bond of friendship has developed with the Maltese clubs and their coaches and this was due to the vision of Alan and Sue Jones (Wales Wrestling Association) who identified the competition as an ideal opportunity for smaller nations to pool resources and test their talented athletes in an appropriate environment.
The NIWA is thankful for the logistical assistance it has received from Jesmond Giordimaina (pictured right supporting son Gary who wrestled in 55kg at the British Juniors in Leicester in October of this year) and Abraham Vassallo.
The athletes can look forward to training in temperatures of 20 degrees in December.
Later in the week the Northern Ireland Squad will be joined by friends and colleagues from Wales, some from England and a contingent from Switzerland headed up by Gregory Martinetti.