After a two-year hiatus, youth wrestling in Glastonbury is back and better than ever.
Wrestling, particularly youth wrestling, was the sport affected most by Covid-19 and for the past few winters, Glastonbury Youth Wrestling (GYW) was severely limited due to the local restrictions.
GYW Director Ethan Reid said the organization pivoted during the pandemic and partnered with a local CrossFit gym to offer wrestlers a chance to stay in shape and eventually they joined forces with a private club in Rocky Hill to allow the young grapplers an opportunity to practice while the local gyms remained close last winter.
“This year is the first year we’ve been able to get back to normal and we’re really excited to do it,” said Reid, who took over as the director in the early stages of the pandemic. “We view this as a rebuilding year for the club.”
Registration is now open for kids from 1st through 8th grade with the season running from now until early February or early March, depending on the state tournament.
During a recent information session held at Gideon Welles School, Reid said he was pleasantly surprised that between 30-40 kids showed up, most new to wrestling.
“It’s very exciting for the future of the club,” added Reid, who added that they have both boys and girls participating.
Practices will take place at Gideon Welles School (1029 Neipsic Road) every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00-7:30, with wrestlers working with experienced coaches to learn the proper fundamentals and techniques of the ancient sport.
Reid, who has a son that has been part of the program since he was eight years old, said that the skills and discipline learned in wrestling goes beyond the mat.
“Wrestling really helps with self-control. There are specific rules you have to follow,” stated Reid. “It’s different from a lot of other sports. There is no team trophy; it’s a very individual sport.”
Reid added that the technical skills learned, like leverage and body control, are transferable to nearly every other sport, adding, “At this stage it’s all about learning the fundamentals. We want to make sure that our [wrestlers] are good at a few things and that’s what we teach.”
Over the years, GYW has developed wrestlers who have gone on to make All-State in high school and compete in the State Open. The hope is that with the latest reboot, the new group of aspiring wrestlers follow in the footsteps of the previous generation.
“The most important thing is that it has to be fun,” said Reid. “We want the kids to have a good time when they come in”
For more information or to register, visit www.glastonburyyouthwrestling.org or with questions email Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin