Wrestling Kids by Jacek Fota
Every athlete knows that hard work is the most important aspect of any sport. One cannot succeed without putting in long hours of practice. Young wrestlers from the sports club Cartusia understand the importance of that. They train everyday to become the best they can. To compete in championships is everyone's goal, but it is only a small percentage of the whole process. GKS Cartusia is a wrestling club from the town of Kartuzy. The town is located in northern Poland in a region called Kashubia, and has around fifteen thousand residents. Wrestling is the most important sport in town and it is the most successful. There are four sections of kids within the club: kindergarteners which are beginners just getting into the sport and have no knowledge or training, the young kids who are more advanced and know the basics, cadets who are the kids up to 18-years-old, and seniors. Many of the most promising and successful kids receive scholarships from local and state government to train and travel. The kids practice really hard to get where they want to be and many of them have successes and often bring medals from Master and Junior Championships in Poland, Europe and even abroad. Unfortunately, the future of professional wrestling is uncertain. On February 12th, 2013 the International Olympic Committee proposed to drop the sport from the 2020 games. Wrestling is one of the core sports at the Olympics and the decision shocked wrestling communities around the world. If the decision will stand it will be devastating for the sport. Wrestling will lose its prestigious status and will become amateur. The Polish government will stop funding wrestling clubs and all the young athletes will lose their scholarships. This news has been on young wrestlers minds ever since they heard it. They are worrying about their future within the sport. Many of them will lose funding to train, to go to college and to travel to competitions. Most of the kids are not from wealthy families and local sponsors will not be able to provide for all the kids in the club. Traveling is expensive and most of the kids will not be able to get to competitions, especially to major contests outside of Poland.