Wrestling championships in P.E.I. see increasing numbers of females

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Wrestling championships in P.E.I. see increasing numbers of females

There was strong evidence of "girl power" at the Atlantic Wrestling Championships in Charlottetown on Saturday.

The one-time, male-dominated sport is attracting increasing numbers of young women.

"Whatever boys can do, girls can do, too. Anyone can do it," said Karlyn Shea, 15, who competed in a 65-kilogram weight class at Colonel Gray High School.

She is also active in judo and has been wrestling since elementary school. 

"I'm really aggressive and I like sports like that because, girl power right?," Shea said.

"It's not really about contact, it's all about attitude. The attitude is key in this sport. And, if you want something bad, you've got to work for it."

Shea's hard work has paid off as she is competing in the Canada Games this summer.

"I'm pretty excited," she said.

Channeling energy and respect

Tim Murphy, the event's co-chair, said of the 130 wrestlers registered, about 25 per cent were female. 

The sport is a good way to teach kids how to channel their energy and be respectful towards others, he said.

"A wrestling match starts by shaking hands and finishes by shaking hands," he said.

"It's a very high-intensity sport and they learn a lot about life because you got winning and losing and you don't depend on anybody else. So, there are a lot of aspects about this that are very good for children and young adults." 

The championships began on Friday with weigh-ins. The competitions in the novice, kids, bantam, cadet, juvenile and junior and senior classes were held on Saturday. 

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