Welcome to the Capilano Wrestling Club

The Capilano Wrestling Club is a non-profit, volunteer organization, which promotes and coordinates Olympic Freestyle Wrestling across the North Shore of Vancouver's Lower Mainland. The Club seeks to work in cooperation with the elementary and high school programs in the region and helps to develop all levels of wrestling, from a Kids' Wrestling Program to those individuals with ambitions to achieve provincial, national or even international experience.

The Club normally practices Monday nights at 6 p.m. in the Small Gym at Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver, beginning in early October and concluding in early April with the Canadian National Juvenile/Cadet Championships. Special events, such as preparing for the B.C. Summer Games or hosting visiting teams from around the world, also take place periodically outside this time frame, mostly in the Summer months.

The Province - HOC Spirit Week ’16: Pinned but back up off mat, Aquinas’ Karah Bulaqui

Capilano Wrestling Club wrestler, Karah Bulaqui, thrives after car crash - Published in The Province June 16, 2016

HOC Spirit Week ’16: Pinned but back up off mat, Aquinas’ Karah Bulaqui thrives after car crash
Capilano helps to host U.S. National Cadet Girls Team
Capilano Wrestling Club, B.C. Wrestling, U.S. National Cadet Girls' teams

The Capilano Wrestling Club, in conjunction with B.C. Wrestling, helped to host the U.S. National Cadet Girls' team over the 2015-16 Christmas Break. Capilano Coach, Kate Walker, is now also the B.C. Girls' Development Coach and in this capacity reached out to her American counterpart, Emma Randall, to organize both a five-day training camp and a dual meet with the B.C Girls. Both the training camp and dual meet were hosted by Ian McDonald at his school, Carson Graham Secondary in North Vancouver. Capilano Coach Mike McDonald led several of the technical sessions, and we managed to bring in former and current Canadian National Team wrestlers John Pineda, Frankie Mensah, Stacie Anaka, Justine Destasio, and Andy Borodow.

The dual meet at Carson Graham on the evening of Tuesday, January 5th, was the perfect culmination of this high level and high intensity international camp. It would be impolite to say who won the dual meet; suffice it to say that there were some fantastic matches viewed by the appreciative spectators on hand.

We are hopeful for a continuation of this type of wrestling experience in future years. Good things can (and did) happen when we extended "hands across the border, hands across the mat." We are very proud that the Capilano Wrestling Club was able to contribute to this process.

North Shore News article featuring the dual meet at Carson Graham - B.C. Girls vs. USA Cadet Girls
Karah Bulaqui in blue (B.C. and Capilano Wrestling Club) competing against Vayle Baker in red (USA) at Carson, Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
Capilano Wrestling hosts team from Vitrolles, France
Wrestling Team from Vitrolles, France >> Front row, l to r: Ramzy Braiek, Fabien Papazian, Yacin Lamy. >> Back row, l to r: Nicolas Vidovic, Stephane Sine, Ugo Brege, Houssine Sine, Coach McDonald.
The Capilano Wrestling Club hosted a small contingent of wrestlers from Vitrolles, France, for two weeks in early July. Vitrolles is a small town about halfway between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. Looking to seek new adventures and meet new people through wrestling, Vitrolles was lucky to choose Capilano as Head Coach Ian McDonald is bilingual and also has family roots via his Mom (nee Monique Richer) in the south of France.

The Vitrolles wrestlers trained at both Carson Graham Secondary and SFU, visited Whistler on the weekend, then went to Port Alberni for the annual camp there before heading home. Coach McDonald described them as "a great group of guys who are trying to see a bit of the world, find like-minded wrestlers, and also improve themselves through our sport." We strongly believe that Cultural Exchanges elevate everyone who participates in many ways, and hosting Vitrolles proved the point once again.
Tired but happy after training session July 8, 2015
2015 Cadet & Juvenile Nationals Results
Team Capilano, 2015 National Championships

This year's representative of the Capilano Wrestling Club at Canada's National Juvenile and Cadet Championships held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, were James Sutherland (63 kg.), Hamish Pye (63 kg.), Karah Bulaqui (40 kg.), Siobhan Stipec (60 kg.), Amara Jarvinen (65 kg.), and Serena Woldring (80 kg.). The accompanying coaches were Kate Walker and Mike McDonald.

Champs!Amara Jarvinen, Karah Bulaqui, Marlena Woldring
Champs!Amara Jarvinen, Karah Bulaqui, Marlena Woldring

All six of our wrestlers placed top six in their respective weight classes and age divisions in the Freestyle portion of the tournament! Sutherland was second, Pye was fifth, and Bulaqui first in the Juvenile (U18) tournament, while Jarvinen and Woldring were first and Stipec fourth in the Cadet (U16) tournament.

Even with our limited number of entries ( after all Fredericton is a long way from Vancouver and expensive to get to), Capilano placed third as a team in the Cadet Girls category.

Moreover, both Bulaqui and Jarvinen also won the FILA Cadet (U17) championships, which gives them the right to represent Canada at the FILA Cadet World Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in August! This is the second FILA Cadet title for Karah Bulaqui, while for Grade 9 student Amara Jarvinen, this is her first title.

This has proven to be quite the breakout year for the 65 kilos Jarvinen, as she also won her first B.C. High School championship in February, representing Windsor Secondary School. She has done her Finnish heritage proud as she exhibited plenty of "sisu" throughout the wrestling season.

In the Greco-Roman tournament, Woldring was second, Stipec was third, while Sutherland was fifth.

All in all the coaches were very happy with the tournament results, which keeps Capilano wrestling on the National map.

A shout-out finally to Mike Lidstone, former Carson Graham Secondary and Capilano coach, whose RCMP career has taken him back home to Nova Scotia; our team got to know and socialized with the blue-nosers Mike brought to the National Championships and supported each other throughout the tournament.

UPDATE ALERT: This has proven to be quite the breakout year for the 65 kilos Jarvinen, as she also won her first B.C. High School championship in February, representing Windsor Secondary School. In May she then went on to win the prestigious Southwest Regional tournament in Las Vegas, followed by a third place medal in July at the Pan Am Cadet Championships in Guadelajara, Mexico. Amara has definitely done her Finnish heritage proud as she has exhibited plenty of "sisu" throughout the wrestling season.

James Sutherland (red) vs. Christophe Coles (Alberta)
James Sutherland (red) vs. Christophe Coles (Alberta)

© 2017 Capilano Wrestling Club