Spartans take the trophy


A trophy up for grabs for the first time in 61 years was won by the Southern Spartans Wrestling Club last week.

Before last weekend, the J.D. McInnes Memorial Shield was last competed for in 1956.

The competition pits Canterbury against Southland for wrestling supremacy.

Southern Spartans wrestling coach Aron Miller said neither organisation could find any history on the trophy.

“It was up for grabs in 1951, ’52, ’53, ’54, ’55 and was last fought for in 1956, when it was first won by Southland,” Miller said.

Miller was unsure how the trophy had been lost but it was rediscovered last year.

“It turned up again in Canterbury last year and both our teams decided to play for it,” he said.

The history of the trophy remained a mystery for Miller despite his best efforts.

“I have talked with a few older guys in the area who can only think as far back as the 1970s.

“If anyone has any more information on it, we would love to know,” he said.

Despite the long time since the last win, Southland managed to win the shield on the day.

To win the shield, Southern Spartan Wrestlers had to beat the majority of their Canterbury counterparts in their individual tussles at the Canterbury Championships.

The shield would again be up for grabs every time the teams fought this year, with the overall winner being the newest addition to the shield.

Miller was extremely happy with the performances of his young wrestlers.

“Even though we took a small team up, the whole club has been performing to a high standard.”

The team was now working towards the Otago and South Island Championships, both of which would take place on the Taieri.

The club would also host its own championships in Gore on August 20.




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