Athletes from across B.C. gathered at Queen of Angels School on Jan. 2 and 3 for the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club’s annual New Year’s camp.
Granted, almost all of the 42 participants were members of the CVWC or wrestlers from local schools, but one had travelled all the way from Vanderhoof. Aiden Evenson was visiting family in the Cowichan Valley and heard about the camp, so he decided to take part. Evenson is already one of the top two wrestlers in the province, and CVWC head coach Nick Zuback expects to see him again at the provincial championships in Langley next month.
Evenson was picked one of two Most Valuable Wrestlers at the camp, along with local athlete Travis Cohen, a second-year member of the club and a Grade 7 student at Bench Elementary whose efforts impressed Zuback.
“He’s continued to work hard and grind it out,” Zuback said. “He beat a really good wrestler in the dual meet we had at the end. He fought pretty hard. Everyone was cheering him on. It was great to see.”
CVWC alumni Nolan Mitchell, Maegan Kuruvita and Hannah Tuplin, who collected a variety of provincial and national honours during their time with the club before going on to university wrestling, returned to their old training grounds to help put on the camp and inspire young wrestlers.
“It was just great,” Zuback enthused. “They provided feedback, assisted me with the camp, showed moves. They got the kids excited.”
The participants ranged in age from seven to 17, all going full-bore for seven hours on each day of two-day camp.
The CVWC sent a full team of wrestlers to the Wildcat Invitational in Burnaby this past Saturday, with several joining an Island team at the inaugural Duke’s Cup meet on Sunday. Notably absent was Cowichan Secondary Grade 12 wrestler Stephanie Mould, who was part of a select team of wrestlers from across B.C. competing at the Golden Bears Invitational hosted by the University of Alberta in Edmonton.