The newly formed Victoria Wrestling Club flexed its muscles in Campbell River last weekend, grabbing four medals at its first-ever meet.
The club sent four athletes to the Island Novice Tournament Dec. 2 and walked away with two gold and a couple of silvers.
“We’re a brand new club, just started practices in September and this was our first competition, so for all these boys, this was their first meet,” coach Steve Rennalls said. “I think these kids are great athletes and they’re working hard and four medals is a really good result.”
Rennalls, a former national and international level wrestler who trained in Montreal, formed the club with fellow national wrestler Michael Cappus, who trained in Simon Fraser University’s world-renown program.
“When I met Michael, he’d already been laying the groundwork so with my background and his, we got to work and decided this was something we wanted to do,” Rennalls explained. “It was time to get a higher level club going in Victoria.”
Roughly 15 athletes train Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., out of Zuma Ultimate Martial Arts and the co-ed club is open to middle and high school age athletes.
“We have two girls training with us currently, and we’re open to both boys and girls,” Rennalls said.
In Campbell River, Rowen Primus from Central middle school claimed one of those gold medals in the elementary boys 35-kg weight class. Oak Bay High’s Oliver Euchuk won both of his matches to earn gold in the junior boys 52-kg weight class.
Euchuk’s younger brother Isaac, of Saint Patrick’s, went 2-1 to take silver in the junior boys 46-kg division and Nick Norman of Esquimalt High faced two hard matches to bring home a silver medal of his own in the senior boys 68-kg class.
Rennalls is confident his club can keep that level of intensity up. As they build a stronger technical base, he expects great things from these athletes going forward.
The team next travels to the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club for the Cougar Open on Dec. 9.