Print Edition: January 23, 2013
You might not find a wrestling varsity team at UFV, but where theres’s a will to wrestle there’s a way.
The club is made up of students from a variety of degree programs, sometimes polar opposites of each other and ranging from science to arts students. These students have varying experience levels, some with a background in wrestling and others who are simply looking to try something new. The club guidelines say students of any and all experience levels are welcome, and anyone wanting to try wrestling out is encouraged to come to a practice. Beyond students, there are various teachers and coaches involved, from the community, as well as professors from UFV who oversee practices.
The club receives some funding from SUS, but practices are held off-campus at Yale secondary school. Matt Knott, the club president, explains that being off campus allows them to open the club up to the community.
“This gives [the club] a little more freedom to operate with people that are not UFV students, such as high school students that compete for their schools that come out to train,” Knott explains.
Unfortunately, training off-campus does pose some difficulties for the club: Knott says the club needs to find locations with wrestling mats, since the mats are fairly expensive and a “funding struggle” which stops the club from purchasing its own.
The club is largely organized through social media, including Facebook and email. It is difficult to attract new members through a purely online presence, which is why the club had a booth at the welcome back barbecue. Knott explains the club felt it was important to attend, to help “new students to learn about the club and to let the student body know that there is a wrestling club they can come out to.”
Knott explains that the main purpose of the club goes beyond wrestling as a hobby – eventually they hope to move into provincial competitions on behalf of UFV.
“Eventually we would like to see the club become a varsity team and compete at the CIS tournaments representing UFV and BC in general,” Knott says, explaining there is currently no CIS wrestling team in BC. Unfortunately, Knott notes, expanding the club beyond UFV and the community will “take time and money [of] which the university and athletics department is in short supply.”
In the near future, the club will organize a team for the Spartan Race later this year. Although not technically wrestling, the event will serve several purposes, most notably “as a way of advertising the club, fostering camaraderie and improving fitness of the team,” Knott says, explaining that despite big dreams, the club is taking things one step at a time.