Fort St. John Wrestling Club receives donation for new mats

Kylie Kalas and Aurora Hafner were all set to attend the Canadian National Wrestling Championships in April for the first time, when the tournament was postponed because of COVID-19. Since then, the girls haven’t been able to wrestle at all, and the Fort St. John Wrestling Club, which the girls train under, is temporarily without a home.

While it’s unclear when the BCWA will say wrestling events can take place again, the girls and the club are planning to go forward in their training as soon as they can, and on brand new, top of the line wrestling mats. After Kylie and Hafner raised over $1,000 through a bottle drive for the new mats and Mark Kalas matched their efforts, Stream-Flo Industries donated the remaining $1,800 needed to purchase a 20x20 foot wrestling mat.

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“We really needed new mats to practice on, the old ones were in horrible condition and not safe to practice on,” Mark said. “Stream-Flo graciously donated the rest of the money to our team.”

Kylie said she feels great about the new mats and can’t wait to try them out.

“We didn’t have the right ones to use before and it feels so god to have these, but I don’t know when we’ll get a chance to wrestle,” said Kylie.

The national championships were postponed until 2021, date to be determined, and Hafner and Kyle will still have a chance to compete. Because of the long lay-off, Kyle said she’s a bit nervous about how she’ll wrestle at first.

However, she did participate in a virtual wrestling camp this year, which helped her out a lot in the meantime. It involved waking up at 5 a.m. every morning, going for 5km runs, listening to talks from Olympic athletes and business-people, and learning how to take care of one-self.

The Wrestling Club season normally begins in October, and has a couple options for training in the meantime until it can find a permanent home.

“It’s so great to have these mats and to have something for the girls to practice on. These mats will last for years and years to come and help Kylie, Aurora, and more athletes train for a long time,” said Mark.

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