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Two Tauranga wrestlers head to Youth Olympics

Ella Derry, one of two Tauranga teenage wrestlers on their way to this year’s Youth Olympics

Two young Tauranga wrestlers are packing their bags for the Youth Olympics.

Ella Derry of Tauranga Girls College and Te Wharekura o Mauao’s Westerly Ainslie have won selection for the biennial celebration of global sports up-and-comers after taking out their respective divisions at the Oceania Wrestling Championships in May.

Ella will contest the 43kg freestyle category in the Buenos Aires games in October, while Westerly will take on the 65kg freestyle competition.

New Zealand Olympic Wrestling Union Technical Director Iain Adamson believes the Youth Olympics will be an amazing learning experience for the Tauranga athletes, who make up half the New Zealand wrestling team heading to Argentina.

“This is a great bunch of young athletes,” Ian says. “This will be a fantastic opportunity for them to learn new skills while taking on some of the best wrestlers in the world.”

15 year old Ella enjoys the tactics involved and the fact that wrestling keeps her fit, strong and healthy.

“I love how much it makes you think and how different it is to the basic school sports that are offered, it really tests your mental strength.”

It’s the sport’s physical aspect, however, that attracts 16 year old Westerly.

“I enjoy the contact side of the sport, particularly the physicality and the challenge.”

The pair will join almost 4000 14 to 18 year old athletes from 206 countries at the games in Buenos Aires from October 6 to 18.

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