The traditional sport of Olympic Wrestling took a step forward into the future as a new Chair of the British Wrestling Association was ratified at its 2013 Annual General Meeting today.
Cary Depel was given the unanimous support of wrestlers from across the UK. Said Barry Pollin, Chair of the Northern Ireland Wrestling Association and the important Nations & Regions Committee, “Some great candidates put their names forward, but Cary is well suited to lead BW on the next stage of its journey.”
Victor Keelan, President of the Scottish Wrestling Association re-iterated his pledge, made earlier to UK Sport and sportscotland that “The Scottish membership is now united in moving forward together with the British Wrestling Association. Things have permanently changed and we should all look to the future.”
Sue Jones, Chair of the Welsh Wrestling Association said that she was officially inviting the new Chair to Cardiff to “Discuss recent and future developments in Wales.”
Tony Melling, Chair of Wrestling’s England Committee gave England’s total support for the groundbreaking appointment from outside of the current wrestling family to make full advantage for a fresh start. The interview process had valuable input from an independent Sport England panel member.
Earlier, outgoing Chair Malcolm Morley received applause from the meeting following his final report to an Annual General Meeting as Chair where he said he “enjoyed [his] involvement in wrestling over a period of some 46 years.”
Wrestling Chief Executive Colin Nicholson presented Malcolm with Bank Top Brewery’s series of Wrestling Beers, each beer named after a wrestling move. (link) Malcolm and the five beers pictured at the British Wrestling Academy against the backdrop of emblems of past Olympics.
Malcolm, whose current appointment as Chair began in 2009, crowned this four year term of office with the recent 28th September launch of a new Talent Pathway – a clear route for Britain’s young talented wrestlers from Club to GB level. (link)
The Talent Pathway places emphasis on a wrestler’s achievement, assessed through regular testing, rather than the traditional coach recommendation.
For an interim period, Malcolm will continue in the post of acting-Performance Director to oversee the implementation of the Talent Pathway.
Malcolm has also been a keen advocate and contributor to a re-structured coaching programme in which three out of the five national standard coach tutors are female, something which he expressed pride in achieving and perhaps surprising to non-wrestling outsiders!
Cary Depel takes over a positive Association enormously buoyed up by the underlying support for Wrestling across the world that was surfaced by the entire sequence of events ending on 8th September when the International Olympic Committee decided to reinstate the sport for the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. (Link to news item)
Said Cary on his appointment, “It is clear we have collective ambition and we are going to have a cracking time over the next four years.” Cary committed to visiting all the Home Nations and Regions by Christmas.
Cary wrestled at Indiana University, USA from 1981 to 1985 (and served as an assistant coach his first year at Law School in 1986) under some USA wrestling legends: Doug Blubaugh, Bill Scherr and Jim Humphries.
Since moving to England in 1993, Cary became deeply involved in rugby union as a player and Captain of several teams. The teams in which he has played have won – a lot – including a Junior Vase National Championship at Twickenham.
About the British Wrestling Association:
The national governing body for the Olympic styles of Wrestling – Freestyle and Greco-Roman. Wrestling’s female athlete in London 2012 came 11th but she immediately followed that by achieving a Bronze medal in the 2012 World Championships. Wrestling is also a Commonwealth Sport with a Gold, Silver and two Bronze medals achieved at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. All the Home Nations are looking forward to fielding successful athletes at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Sport England increased its funding to Wrestling in support of its ambitions to grow participation in the sport, as well as to improve coaching, implement athlete awards and improve the support for young talent. The other Home Nations receive funding from their sports councils.