Towards the end of 2015, a survey was carried out by Wigan & Leigh Wrestling Club and British Wrestling into what causes barriers to athletes entering competitions.
The results of the survey were discussed at the December BWA Board, used by the Competitions Committee in their recent review of the Competition Regulations and made available to Aspull Warriors to aid their competition planning.
33 members gave detailed replies to the survey which asked respondents to prioritise 20 potential barriers that might discourage athletes from entering competitions.
Respondents used a mixture of numerical scoring and individual comments.
The biggest barrier to taking part in competitions was cited as the need to stay overnight due to distance and the need to weigh-in the night before.
With a focus on reducing the need to stay overnight wherever possible, the BWA Board minuted that consideration be given to regional weigh-ins. Following this request, the Northern Region is shortly to produce a document on how a regional weigh-in might be organised in their region.
Whilst there are many practical barriers to Regional weigh-ins, which have prevented previous trials becoming the norm, this option will be looked at again. However, the Board also said that weigh-ins at competitions must be retained at English/British Championships.
Of the scored answers, in order of priority, from high down to low:
Average score of more than 3 out of 5
Average score of 2-3 out of 5
Average score of less than 2 out of 5
Of the many individual comments, some were:
Whilst it extremely helpful to gather the thoughts of athletes and parents, any club that goes to the effort of organising a competition remains free to choose their own dates that fit within the calendar, spectator fees, size of trophies etc. But it is invaluable to get a feeling for the thoughts of the members.
However, British Wrestling will be encouraging staggered medal ceremonies, the early visibility of competition dates and a reduction in overnight stays where possible.
Wigan & Leigh Club should be congratulated on their drive to make the survey happen – as well as their enthusiasm and commitment to attend as many competitions at other clubs as they can.
Thank You Wigan & Leigh – and everyone who responded to the survey!