A 15-YEAR-OLD wrestler hopes to take it to the next level and compete in the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
Blackrod’s Megan Kipling is no stranger to the sport, and she was first inspired by her younger sister, Mia, who has been doing it since she was four and is now 12.
Megan is now a British Under-17 athlete in Olympic freestyle wrestling, under the Bolton Olympic Wrestling Club banner.
After observing her sister from afar, she decided to take the plunge and practice the sport herself.
Mia also became British Champion this year.
Megan, a student from Rivington and Blackrod High School said, “Although many of my goals are based on success, that’s not why I do what I do.
“I wrestle because it’s what I’ve learned to love, and I’m passionate about it.
“I know I have the potential to move on to bigger and better things, and I’m lucky to have so much support from the people around me, ranging from my parents and family to my teammates and coaches. , to my teachers and friends.
“I am grateful to all of them.”
Her father Edward, who is also a coach at Bolton Olympic Wrestling Club, says she wasn’t sure at first, but after seeing her friend also participate, “she fell in love with it”.
He added: “When she started I just said ‘try it and see if you like it’.
“She wasn’t enthusiastic at first, but now the rest is history.”
Edward also explained that initially it’s not about winning or losing, but about experience, which will prepare her for the big competition.
He added: “In her first competition, she lost all five of them.
“But for now, international experience is what she needs. Wins and losses don’t matter at this point.
“It is above all a family sport and very welcoming.
“We’re all very passionate about it, and my wife Kylee is usually on the sidelines cheering.”
Megan has already been recognized as a champion in several competitions – Welsh Champion in 2017, British Champion in 2017 and 2018, Best Wrestler in 2018 and 2019, National Development Team Member in 2019, Northern Region Champion in 2019 and 2021 and fifth in a competition in Spain in 2022
She started as a member of the national development team in 2019, then became a member of the regional team in 2021, later progressing as an under-17 athlete.
She hopes to try out for the National Talent Team in July, which is part of the route to competition in Britain.
Megan said: “I wish I had more confidence in myself as a wrestler, as well as a person.
“I would also like to have a successful trip to Italy, participate in the European Championships and qualify for the Commonwealth Games in 2026.”
Megan started training just a few days a week, now pushing her limits, up to six days a week to pursue her dream of representing her country at the larger scale of the Commonwealth Games and European Championships .
Edward added: “It’s absolutely amazing, and for me it was a proud moment.
“I am also very lucky and proud to have my two daughters involved in the sport.
“They both love it.
“We are a very close family.”
When Megan isn’t training, she enjoys listening to music and reading books, and enjoys the social aspect of wrestling, where she now has friends all over the world.
She was recently offered a clothing brand sponsorship from Gray Wolf Attire.
Edward added: “It’s fantastic to see and get his name out there.
“It’s taking very well.”
So far, Megan has competed in her first United World Wrestling competition in Spain.
She also rubbed shoulders with some of the Commonwealth medalists in the region.
Her next challenge is in a training camp in Italy on July 3 and to help her get there, she aims to raise funds through a crowdfunding page, which is www.gofundme.com/f/megans-sponsored -walked.
Megan also challenged herself to climb Mount Snowdonia on Sunday June 25.