It’s time to hit the mat for hundreds of young wrestlers from all over the province at the 12th annual Miri Piri Wrestling Championship.
The event, also known as the BC Provincial Wrestling Club Championships, invades Abbotsford’s Ag-Rec Building on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.
The MPWC invites boys and girls from as young as Grade 1 all the way to Grade 12, with over a dozen weight divisions offered in the elementary, junior and senior divisions.
Tournament director Chanmit Phulka said he expects around 300 to 350 junior and senior competitors, along with 50 elementary wrestlers for the event.
Located in Abbotsford, the Miri Piri Wrestling Club has been training young grapplers since 1996.
Saturday’s event will feature dozens of locals, with teams competing from Rick Hansen Secondary, Abbotsford Traditional, W.J. Mouat and CG Howe, along with a number of wrestlers from Abbotsford and Mission competing individually.
A new aspects for the 2018 edition of the tournament is the presence of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – British Columbia. Phulka explained that he wanted to use the tournament as an opportunity to help steer youth on the right path.
“With the ongoing problems in the Lower Mainland related to drugs and gang violence I have taken the initiative to try and make a change,” he said. “Miri Piri Wrestling Club is proud to partner with the CFSEU-BC and promote sports as an avenue for kids to take rather than choosing other negative options.”
Phulka said he sees wrestling as a way out for many youth and as a positive route to take for health and education potential.
“Being the tournament director, I really wanted to do this,” he said, pointing out he contacted Sgt. Jag Khosa to get the CFSEU-BC involved. “It’s pretty sad to see kids go down the wrong path and I felt like I had this platform to help raise awareness for the kids and parents that are there. It’s a great opportunity to partner with them and try to send a positive message into our community.”
Khosa and the CFSEU-BC will have a information booth at the event, and it’s expected that Khosa will address all the competitors at some point on Saturday.
The event is free for the public to attend and is expected to run until 4 p.m. Championship matches for many of the divisions will occur at around 3 p.m. on Saturday.