• Free wrestling academy for children to open in Hastings

Free wrestling academy for children to open in Hastings

A new, free, wrestling academy will open in Hastings next month to enable local children to learn the skills and personal disciplines that go with American “folkstyle” and “catch” wrestling.

The Golgotha Grappling Academy is the brainchild of Eric Flores, Pastor at Calvary Hawke’s Bay and certified coach with USA Wrestling and Catch Wrestling Alliance. 

Eric says he is excited to be establishing Golgotha Grappling Academy and sharing his knowledge with 9-14 year olds from the local community.

“Learning martial arts was a game-changer for me and I want that for my students. Having coached at the Lions Den MMA gym in Whangarei, I saw how much the kids up there enjoyed themselves and how their characters developed. I know that local kids from Hastings will love it too.

“My main focus with Golgotha Academy is that kids are active, have fun and are safe. Along the way they’ll learn how to defend themselves, grow in confidence and learn some of the disciplines, such as self control, that are part of martial arts," Eric says.

“I didn’t want cost to be a barrier to taking part, so our twice-weekly after school sessions are free. All that we need is parent’s permission for their child to take part, and of course, Mums and Dads are welcome to stay and watch the classes."

Their first session will be held on Monday, May 3 from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Following that, they will be held at Hastings Sports Centre, 503 Railway Road on Monday and Wednesday's and run for the school term. 

Golgotha Grappling Academy classes are an hour long and include warm up, learning two or three techniques per session before finishing with short bouts, where boys will be matched with boys, and girls with girls. There is a strong safety culture, as folkstyle and catch wrestling do not involve striking.