Beach Wrestling Action in Apia
Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, President of Samoa Wrestling, Coach Iutana Afele & over a dozen wrestlers, including Ele Opeloge and her younger sister, gathered at the SSFA Apia Beach Courts behind the Central Bank for a demonstration of ‘Beach Wrestling’ at lunchtime on Monday 18th November 2008.
The sport, which is a combination of balance, strength, endurance, and speed is set inside a circle of 6 metres in diameter, and the rules are simple…anything goes, except for punching. The first wrestler to secure two points is the winner. Points are gained by any part of your opponents body touching the ground outside of the circle, or by their knee touching the ground inside the circle. As for the weight divisions, there are only two as decided by the referee; heavy and light, and in terms of a wrestling uniform, again it is quite simple; for the boys, it is a pair of shorts, no shirt, and for the girls, shorts and a t-shirt.
The benefit of Beach Wrestling is that it is easy to set up. All you need is sand and a piece of rope, then it’s game on. The sport can be played anywhere and that’s why Tuaopepe is keen to see Samoa take on this sport, because we have plenty of sand and it can be setup just about anywhere.
“Beach Wrestling is a fast, explosive sport, and that’s why it’s perfect for us (Samoans), and if you like rugby, then beach wrestling is for you” Tuaopepe said. “There are no complicated techniques involved. We hope that this demonstration will raise awareness and interest of the sport here in Samoa because we want to see Beach Wrestling being played in the villages, rural areas, at schools, beaches, and businesses playing too.
Beach Wrestling was approved by the International Wrestling Association, FILA, as a discipline at the Congress in Beijing earlier this year, putting it on the gold medal stakes for the 2012 London Olympics. Tuaopepe will now be working hard with his Oceania counterparts to see Beach Wrestling included in the Pacific Games in New Caledonia for 2011.
Next month, Samoa Wrestling will be hosting the inaugural Samoa Beach Wrestling competition. The location and date will be announced shortly so make sure you check out this exciting new sport on the block.
For more information about Beach Wrestling, please contact Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork on 770-2334 or email email@example.com