Skip to content

Last one standing at war on the floor

Judoka turned wrestler makes impressive tournament showing

All eyes were on Abby Lloyd as she competed in her first wrestling tournament last week in the Lower Mainland.

Lloyd, 15, and her trainer, Dr. Kyla Bremner, travelled to Langley to participate in BC Wrestling Association’s 2012 War on the Floor high school tournament. Lloyd was the only participant from Powell River and she had to register as part of a club, so she signed up with the Port Alberni team for the event.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Lloyd. “I just went out to have some fun. I entered as a novice because I’m just a beginner, but with my judo background the nerves weren’t there, so it felt like it wasn’t my first wrestling competition.”

Lloyd fought undefeated in the grade nine to 12 novice bouts on Thursday, December 20 and was entered in the high school elite category on Friday. Lloyd went five and zero to win the competition.

“A lot of people came up to me after and said, ‘You do judo, don’t you?’” said Lloyd. “I am a first-time wrestler, but my judo instincts are still there.”

Lloyd is also studying Brazilian Jiu-jitsu with her coach Krzysztof Grzywniak who is a former Polish national wrestling team coach.

With judo, the judogi is the traditional uniform. Wearing something different on the mat took some getting used to for Lloyd. “One of the biggest differences is fighting without a gi on. I didn’t have any material to grab,” she said.

The tournament is organized as a fundraiser for the association’s cadet and juvenile programs. Money raised helps pay for wrestlers to attend interprovincial and international competitions. It’s also an opportunity for high school athletes to be sized up by university wrestling coaches. Bremner made sure that Mike Jones, the head coach of Simon Fraser University, was watching, “because she’s that good.”

Some of the top coaches in high school wrestling were interested in her, said Bremner, adding the possibility Lloyd could receive full-ride scholarships for wrestling as well as judo.

With her win in Langley, Lloyd is now eligible to compete in the BC Summer Games.

“I think she’s got quite a future in wrestling if she chooses to pursue it,” Bremner said. “It’s just a pleasure to coach her because she’s so focused. We enjoy hanging out with Abby. I think I’m going to try to take her to nationals this year which is in April in Saskatoon.”

Bremner said she is already considering fundraising to pay the cost of the airfare. “I firmly believe that Abby will represent Canada at the Olympics one day,” she said.