PROFILE PHOTO COURTESY OF KIMBERELY KUFAAS PHOTOGRAPHY                                Have some thoughts about Sports Talk with Tyson? Email a letter to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

PROFILE PHOTO COURTESY OF KIMBERELY KUFAAS PHOTOGRAPHY Have some thoughts about Sports Talk with Tyson? Email a letter to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

Sports Talk with Tyson: The importance of wrestling programs for local high schools

“Wrestling is, in my opinion, the best sport for youth to get involved in.”

Welcome back to Sports Talk with Tyson. In this week’s edition, I’ll be discussing the importance of wrestling programs for local high schools.

Currently, Port Hardy Secondary School and North Island Secondary School don’t have a wrestling program for the students to participate in, which I think is a real shame.

Wrestling is, in my opinion, the best sport for youth to get involved in. Why is that, you might be wondering?

Here’s a couple reasons why.

1. Personal responsibility:

Wrestling requires the utmost responsibility for your own performance. Win or lose, everything is all on your shoulders. This makes you realize how serious you need to take your training to be successful. Your teammates can’t step in if things aren’t going your way. You have to be ready to go every single match, and if you’re not, you’re going to have a bad day on the mats. I find this comparable to life after graduating high school. Once you’re out in the real world, it’s up to you to succeed, and no one is going to hold your hand and help you out if you’re not putting in the work required.

2. Mental toughness:

The training that is required for wrestling is intense, and with good reason. Matches are six minutes long where you are literally fighting against a resisting opponent, which will leave you feeling exhausted. I’ve competed in team sports and wrestling my whole life, and I’ve never been so tired as I was from one on one competition against an opponent who is fighting back for positional dominance. Your lungs hurt, your legs turn to rubber, and your forearms swell up with blood. You basically have to be ready to push your body past what it wants to do.

3. Wrestling is fun:

Yes, despite all of the challenges that are involved with the sport, there is plenty of fun to be had from training and competing. The best feeling in the world is getting your hand raised after all the sacrifice. Working hard to face challenges and overcoming them is what winning is all about, and once you have achieved your goals, you feel like you can accomplish anything when you put your mind to it.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t of wrestled, and I like to think my work ethic and drive to succeed in my journalism career comes from that experience.

I’d also be interested in coaching wrestling at Port Hardy Secondary School if there was any interest from the school/students.

Tyson Whitney is an award-winning journalist who was born and raised in Port Hardy. His family has lived in Port Hardy for more than 40 years. He graduated with a degree in writing from Vancouver Island University in 2008.

Email: editor@northislandgazette.com