Birtley wrestling group in Gateshead have made it through to stage 2 of the regional wrestling championships after two years of training.
Former WWE star and head coach Oliver Biney, 32, from Leeds, said: “We’ve been waiting for two years for the championships and hopefully this could be our year.”
He continued to say that wrestling was his life and making it this far has made him proud of his team.
The competitors train at Birtley boxing club every Monday and Wednesday from 7.30pm until 9.30pm and are on a strict diet to keep healthy.
The team made it into the championships in 2013 but have failed the past two years until now to qualify.
This training session is one of two in the North East and some of the wrestlers travel over 40 miles two days a week just to train in Birtley.
Wrestler Chris Small, 30, Middlesbrough, said: “I leave work at 5 and get to training for about 7 with good traffic. On Mondays I’m on the go from 8am, but I love it.”
Although it is close to the championships, the club are still taking on new recruits to the team.
Newcomer Elliot Appleby, 19, Birtley, said: “It is very hard at first, yes. The hardest part is probably the physicality, if we aren’t doing a move right we will have to repeat it until it’s perfect. The food isn’t too bad though.”
Good luck Team Birtley!