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'If you practise, you wrestle': Chilliwack Grapplers hosting Friday drop-ins

Drop-ins happen every Friday with no wrestling experience needed
wrestling
Quinn Laynes (right), Torin Savage (left) and other Imagine High students watch Chilliwack Grapplers coaches Bill Brooks and Koren Appleton (middle) demonstrate wrestling technique during a class in the school gymnasium

Youth wrestling has seen significant growth recently, and the Chilliwack Grapplers Wrestling Club has been at the heart of it. 

The Grapplers, in partnership with Chilliwack Community Services, has begun offering free drop-in wrestling classes dubbed “Freestyle Fridays.” The program was introduced following the Grapplers successful running of an after-school program known as “Beyond the Bell.”

The classes are open to all youth between Grades 5 to 12 with no previous wrestling experience required. Kids from all over the school district are welcome to come out, learn the basics, and wrestle in some informal bouts. 

“In Grapplers wrestling there is no second string, no bench sitting, no minimum playing minutes,” said Grapplers director Bill Brooks. “If you practice, you wrestle.”
“We are known for our inclusivity. In past seasons over 50 per cent of our members have come from youth groups, often underrepresented in traditional school sports.”

The drop-in classes are overseen by Brooks as well as Grapplers head coach Americo Pena, who also coached at the 2008 Olympics and many other international competitions throughout his career. 

The drop-ins are on Friday evenings between the hours of 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chilliwack Landing Sports Centre at 45530 Spadina Ave. with food and drinks being supplied to participating youth. More information can be found on the Grapplers' Facebook page



Stefan Luciani

About the Author: Stefan Luciani

Before joining the team here at the Chilliwack Progress in spring 2024, I was a story editor for TSN in Toronto and digital journalist.
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