It’s no fun winning without doing anything.
That’s the position Emily Reid, 16, a Grade 11 Chemainus Secondary School student, has found herself in many times during wrestling competition since taking it up. There’s very few wrestlers in her same 91 through 110 kilogram weight classes.
Reid didn’t have an opponent to face during the Island high school event in Chemainus earlier this year, but was glad to get into three matches at the provincial finals in Port Alberni and placed second in the 110 kg division. The upcoming nationals in Edmonton will bring more significant competition, but required an adjustment on her part.
“For nationals, I had to drop to 90 kilos so I’ve been working on that,” Reid noted. “I weigh in usually at 95 or 96.”
During Islands, “I just kind of sat in the corner,” she added of winning that title without a single match.
Dropping the weight will make it a lot better in Edmonton for her to see some action.
“I’m super excited,” Reid gushed. “One of my coaches said there’s four other girls to wrestle so five in my weight class.
“A lot of my matches I didn’t have anyone to wrestle this year till I got to the bigger matches.”
Despite limited competition, it’s been a rapid rise to the top for Reid considering she started in the sport rather late.
The Chemainus resident actually went into roller derby first with the Candy Crushers at Cowichan Exhibition’s Mellor Hall before giving wrestling a try.
“I wasn’t good at skating that much,” Reid conceded. “I decided I wasn’t going to do that, try something else.”
She had taken breaks and really wanted to start wrestling for a while. Last year, she finally joined the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club.
“They kept coming here and doing demos,” explained Reid. “It was fun and challenges everybody.”
She credits Eric Anderson, one of the club coaches, for getting her into it. “He was super excited,” Reid noted.
The 2016 Cougar Invitational in the Chemainus Secondary gym was her first competition.
“I wasn’t very good, but I still went out there and tried my hardest,” Reid recalled. “I had a blast.”
In her two matches, “I lost both of them, but it was a learning experience,” she added.
It got her enthused to learn the basics and make progress with lots of practice. “Last year, I didn’t go to provincials, Islands or nationals,” Reid indicated.
But this year brought a huge change and thrust her directly into the highest level of competition.
“I noticed I progressed a lot,” she said.
After sitting out the Island tournament with no competition, Reid was pleased to take part in the provincials and gauge her development. It all led to a spot in the nationals where she can’t wait to give it her best shot.
“I’ve worked the entire year for this and I’m ready for it in my mind,” Reid said.
“I’m hoping to place and I’m hoping I can bring something back to Chemainus here.
“It’s a big tournament and I’m happy I have someone to wrestle. I’m just happy I’m getting this opportunity to go.”
The sport has already given Reid so much in a short time.
“I absolutely love it,” she enthused. “I wish I had joined sooner because next year’s my last year.
“One thing I wasn’t expecting is how friendly people are.”
Reid said there’s always someone willing to offer pointers or a helping hand, regardless whether they’re opponents or teammates.