WHILE it is not the most common sport for an Australian teenage boy, gladiator wrestling has 15-year-old Tom Barnes on his way to a national competition.
The Trinity College student, who trains with former Commonwealth games wrestling coach Alan Landy, said the sport was increasing in popularity.
“It’s not well known but if you do get involved it in it’s really worth it,” he said.
“It’s growing in WA but it’s still not a really big sport here like it is in Iran, the USA and Russia.”
Now training the latest generation of wrestlers at his Gladiator wrestling gym in Osborne Park, Landy said gladiator wrestling boasted 10 national champions.
“Ultimately we hope gladiator will unearth Australia’s future wrestling champions,” he said.
“This is wrestling’s future; we’re going to be here for a very long time.”
Barnes said he hoped to get a college wrestling scholarship in the US or Canada, where the sport is more popular.
“I’d love to train over there, go to college and hopefully wrestle for Australia one day.”
Barnes said gladiator wrestling required skill, determination and technique.
“It’s definitely tough they push me to my limit, to reach top levels of training is unbelievably intense,” he said.
“I train about six times a week for two hours at a time but it’s the most enjoyable sport I’ve done so far.
“I really enjoy the challenge of the sport; I’m still trying to convince my friends to give it a go.”
Barnes will head to the DownUnder wrestling Tournament in Surfers Paradise from July 16.