Hi Mitch,
Just want to let you know how excited Claire is that wrestling is back soon. This is a kid who has been in hockey and karate for years and has never been excited about either of those sports. But with wrestling…. she has been skipping, lifting weights, and practicing on dad all summer long in an effort to get ready for the new season.
I want to thank you and the other coaches for making a difference in her sporting-life in just the few months she was part of the club last season!

Claire’s Dad


I'm a Wrestler at Matmen. I started wrestling in grade 7 and was introduced to the Matmen club in grade 9. I started Matmen thinking it was only going to be for fun, I didn't think I would want to wrestle forever. That changed and I hope everyday that I'm going to be able to wrestle for as long as I can. The Matmen coaches are great mentors and help me understand disappointments but also to enjoy my accomplishments. I take my Matmen experiences to my everyday life knowing that there are ups and downs and you can always work through them. I know that my goal setting in wrestling will also allow me to set my goals and achievements in my daily life and make me a better person.

Thank you, Matmen, coaches and teammates.

Ty Bridgwater ( 2014 Canadian National Champion 69 kg)


Reasons Why Our Kids Wrestle

Today, parents have a wide-range of activities from which to choose to enroll their children. Deciding on which activities your child participates in can be based in almost as many reasons as there are activities. We chose wrestling for our two kids as wrestling fit perfectly with our criteria.

First, we like the physical fitness that wrestling brings to their lives. Everyone is aware of the effects of a sedentary, screen-filled lifestyle and wrestling counteracts that. We encourage our kids to continue with the physical conditioning at home that they practise at wrestling.

Secondly, wrestling promotes self-regulation of one's behaviour and illustrates the necessity of being a good sport which includes respecting coaches, referees and other athletes. As spectators, we enjoy the collegial atmosphere in the stands of parents being supportive of their own wrestler, but not at the cost of other competitors.

Finally, we like that wrestling develops perseverance. In Paul Tough's latest book "How Children Succeed - Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character" his research proves repeatedly that test results do not predict future success, but rather a child's ability to persevere with a task even though it may be frustrating at first. The discipline that wrestling requires fosters grit which spills over into other areas of our kids' lives.

For the reasons stated above, wrestling is a perfect fit for our family.

Carl Kaufman & Dorothy McKay


As the parent of two teenagers, I know how important it is to ensure that your kids take part in physical activity, connect to their community and surround themselves with positive peers and mentors.  For Mason, being part of the Matmen Wrestling Club has allowed him to do just that.

This is Mason’s second year at Matmen.  Mason was introduced to the sport of wrestling at his Senior Public school. He enjoyed it immensely and was encouraged by his grade 8 teacher to continue learning the sport, which is how we ended up at the doorstep of the Matmen Club. At Matmen, Mas has had the opportunity to learn a new sport, make friends and be mentored by a great group of adults and peers who are passionate about what they do. I asked Mas what he likes best about Matmen and his response was, “I like learning new techniques, the cardio, meeting new people and competing against other people my size.” What more could you ask for, right? Well, the story gets even better…

Mason started high school this year, which can be a daunting endeavor for a smallish 14 year old guy.  He made the transition fairly well, but struggled to connect to a sports team or club which we, as his parents, had hoped for him to do.  Although Mason is a sporty guy, he wasn’t excited about any of the sports teams initially offered by his high school. Unfortunately, his high school wasn’t offering wrestling as an option, which Mason thought could have been a natural fit for him.  As it turns out, other students at his school also had an interest, but lacked the staff support person required to create a school team.  In conversation with another Matmen parent, it was discovered that she was a staff at that high school and was prepared to take on the task of leading this group of kids.  With the initial support of a Matmen coach, and other caring adults, Mason’s high school now has a wrestling club that he has joined, which we are all thrilled with.  After Mason’s first school tournament, he told us how cool it was that his Matmen coaches were also at that tournament and he was so excited to share that some of his peers from Matmen were there too and supported him as well.  Talk about a great way to raise a kids’ self-esteem and to be connected to a community of great people.

It’s a “pay it forward” story, really.   The story started with a group of coaches who share their passion for a great sport.  It continues because Mas was able to take that shared passion and encourage a few other grade 9 students to join the sport at school, who like him, hadn’t quite found their niche.   I can only imagine the impact it may have in their lives, but I am certain that for Mason, being part of Matmen is just the beginning for him.

Marijke Evans (Mason Evans’ mom)

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