Going for gold with Active Through Football

Going for gold with Active Through Football Image

A Wolverhampton wrestling club which recently celebrated its Golden Anniversary is now linking up with the gold and black by running an Active Through Football session for Wolves Foundation. 

The popular wrestling club, based at the Guru Nanak Satsang Gurdwara, has a proud tradition in delivering many different activities and has launched a new football session for over-35s taking place on Sunday afternoons. 

It’s the latest in a wide-ranging programme of initiatives which Wolves Foundation are supporting as part of Active Through Football, a Sport England project funded by the Football Foundation focused on delivering more football-based activities across targeted communities in the city. 

“Active Through Football is a five-year project aimed at increasing physical activity across the city through the means of playing football,” explains Wolves Foundation’s Active Through Football project officer, Liam Turner. 

“We had been speaking to Ranj (Wolverhampton Wrestling Club Head Coach and Project Manager Ranjit Singh) for a while and had seen the fantastic work that is carried out at the Gurdwara and were really keen to try and set up a partnership. 

“It is such an important venue which offers a range of sports for the whole community and we are hopeful that this football session, open to people of all abilities, will prove extremely popular.” 

For Ranj, it is another great opportunity to attract more people to use the facilities at the Gurdwara, a Sikh temple situated on the Cannock Road not far from Wolverhampton City. 

Developed from the strong foundations as a wrestling club, they have a pathway in place offering opportunities to progress all the way from grass roots to elite level, producing three Commonwealth Games medallists and an Olympian in Amarjit Singh, who competed in the super-heavyweight category of freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. 

But, as perfectly illustrated by getting involved with Active Through Football, the club is about far more than just wrestling. 

“It is the wrestling club which helped us become established in the community but we offer multi-sports and many different activities,” Ranj confirms. 

“And those activities are available for boys, girls, men and women, all the way up to the elderly. 

“The range of sports on offer includes football, tennis, boxing, family-orientated boxing classes, ladies’ yoga, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), and more. 

“The great thing about it all is that while we are based in a Sikh Gurdwara, we are open to all, and a warm welcome is guaranteed for everyone. 

“I would say at least 60 per cent of our participants across the board are people from a non-Sikh background, and we just want people from the community to come together and enjoy all the benefits which exercise can bring. 

“Sport is particularly important for physical health but is also great for mental health and wellbeing and just socially as well, bringing people together, and we have always encouraged our club to be very much an open house.” 

Ranj’s efforts within the local community have not gone unnoticed, and he was named as a ‘Hometown hero’ for his contribution as part of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

“We had actually been talking with Wolves Foundation about how we could maybe partner up and run something alongside their football sessions before the pandemic,” Ranj explains. 

“Now we’ve been able to get this new session going, aimed at encouraging more people over the age of 35 to play more football. 

“Again, everyone is welcome, as with all our activities, whether you are a beginner, haven’t played for a while or already play quite a bit – it’s on an informal turn up and play basis based very much around enjoyment. 

“On top of the actual football we also have fitness programmes and healthy diet programmes produced for all our sports which we can give out to participants to help them improve their physical and mental health. 

“I’d just encourage anyone interested to come along, meet some new people and give it a try.” 

Sessions take place from 1pm-2pm at the Gurdwara on Sundays, situated on the Cannock Road, postcode WV10 0AL. 

The pitches are outdoors and participants are asked to dress in appropriate sportswear and bring along football boots if possible. 

For any more information email wolverhamptonwrestlingclub@gmail.com.

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