February 23, 2019

Winnipeg
-10° C, Light snow

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Wrestlers grapple with cuts

Coach calls elimination of university programs 'heartbreaking'

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Manitoba’s Kyle Steeves faces off against Quebec’s Jonathan Campagnolo on Wednesday. Steeves won the match and is expected to be a medal contender in the individual competition.</p></p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Manitoba’s Kyle Steeves faces off against Quebec’s Jonathan Campagnolo on Wednesday. Steeves won the match and is expected to be a medal contender in the individual competition.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/8/2017 (562 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

They’ve been knocked to the mat, thanks to a series of political and financial decisions that have put the future of their sport very much in question in this province.

But the athletes and coaches representing Manitoba wrestling in the Canada Summer Games are trying to pick themselves up while embracing the role of scrappy underdogs.

“Is it right? No. Just because of politics, no, sorry, you’re not going to get that. It’s heartbreaking. These kids have no one to look up to now. How do they grow it?” men’s coach Dave Elder told the Free Press on Wednesday. He was speaking about the recent decision by the University of Winnipeg to slash its wrestling program, just as the University of Manitoba had previously done.

“They could have taken money from somewhere else if you ask me. I just think it’s wrong,” Elder said.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/8/2017 (562 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

They’ve been knocked to the mat, thanks to a series of political and financial decisions that have put the future of their sport very much in question in this province.

But the athletes and coaches representing Manitoba wrestling in the Canada Summer Games are trying to pick themselves up while embracing the role of scrappy underdogs.

"Is it right? No. Just because of politics, no, sorry, you’re not going to get that. It’s heartbreaking. These kids have no one to look up to now. How do they grow it?" men’s coach Dave Elder told the Free Press on Wednesday. He was speaking about the recent decision by the University of Winnipeg to slash its wrestling program, just as the University of Manitoba had previously done.

"They could have taken money from somewhere else if you ask me. I just think it’s wrong," Elder said.

He sounded off after watching his 10-member squad get off to a tough start in the team competition at the Axworthy Health and RecPlex, losing by a combined score of 33-15 to Alberta in the morning, 33-16 to Quebec in the afternoon and 41-9 to Ontario in the evening.

Winnipegger Kyle Steeves, 17, won both his individual contests in the first two team events Wednesday. The St. Paul’s student wants to stick with wrestling when he graduates next spring and knows he will have to look outside the province for his post-secondary options.

"It’s very disappointing," he said.

However, Steeves is savouring the opportunity to compete in his hometown and could be a medal threat once the team competition ends and the individual wrestling events are held Friday in 11 different weight categories.

Brothers Hunter and Carson Lee from Flin Flon are also expected to join Steeves as legitimate individual medal threats, according to their coach.

There was another bright spot on the men’s team Wednesday. Khaled Aldrar, a 17-year-old Syrian refugee who arrived in the province last winter, also won both his matches in the first two team events.

"His style is coming out. He’s such a nice kid and a good wrestler. I think on the mat he doesn’t want to be aggressive. He’s new here, I can understand him not wanting to make enemies," Elder said.

The Manitoba women’s team won their opening match Wednesday morning 29-18 over Newfoundland and Labrador, then were drubbed 41-5 by Saskatchewan in the afternoon and 46-4 by Alberta in the evening. Jessica Rabet, 17, scored the only points for her team in the afternoon match by pinning her opponent.

Rabet is also set to leave the province, beginning her studies this fall at the University of Regina, where she will also be part of their wrestling program. In fact, the Team Saskatchewan coach who watched Rabet defeat his athlete on Wednesday likely had mixed emotions, as he will soon be guiding Rabet at the school.

"I’m excited to learn so many new things, be part of a bigger program," said Rabet, who recently graduated from Grant Park High School. It’s one of the few high schools in the city that still has a dedicated wrestling program. "But for a lot of kids here (in Manitoba) who might want to keep going here, well now they can’t."

Rabet said she often has to train against men because there aren’t enough women competing in the sport locally. That might explain why Team Manitoba only has eight female wrestlers at the Summer Games, rather than the maximum of 11 they could carry.

Manitoba women’s coach Kris Stasiak said it’s a shame what wrestling has become in this province, where he has coached for more than two decades.

"Manitoba was at one point one of the stronger provinces in Canada. But we’ve lost a lot of school programs," he said.

Stasiak blamed a number of factors, including the demise of the university wrestling programs and not enough former athletes "stepping up" to help coach what is a very specialized sport.

Stasiak said there is work now underway to revive wrestling at the "grassroots" level but admits not having programs at the U of M and U of W makes it an uphill climb.

"That was quite a blow to the wrestling community," he said.

The women’s team finishes off pool competition against Nova Scotia and Nunavut today. The men wrap up against Nova Scotia today. Teams must finish first or second in their pool to have any shot at a medal. The top team in each of the two pools in both men’s and women’s competition will square off tonight for gold and silver, while the second-place teams will battle for bronze.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 8:54 PM CDT: corrects hometown of Lee brothers

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us