Lastega ja lastele

Auhinnaga „Lastega ja lastele“ täname ja tunnustame inimesi ja organisatsioone, kelle uued algatused või pikemaajaline tegevus on positiivselt mõjutanud laste ja perede käekäiku.
Tunnustusauhinna taotluste voor on avatud 15. aprillini.

Esita taotlus

Atmosphere of true sporting spirit

In cooperation with the Korrus3 wrestling club, SEB Charity Fund organised a wrestling day for 80 children from the shelters and substitute homes of Pärnu, Tartu, Ida-Viru County, Tallinn, Harju County, and other areas. The patron of the wrestling day was Heiki Nabi, double world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling.

When introducing the sport to the children a wrestling trainer, Martin Plaser, stressed that it is one of the hardest sports but after practicing wrestling for some time, all other sports seem much easier. “Not all children have an easy life, but after wrestling practice the approach to different hardships changes,“ he said, adding that the main aim of the wrestling day is to spread an interest in sports and to encourage children. “I hope that as a result of having this playful practice together today, there will be children who will make a decision to go to their local wrestling practice,” Plaser said.

For the ones arriving from afar, the trip itself was a part of the adventure. One of the children was surprised that they are not going on foot… Since the trip was from Tartu to Tallinn, a quick calculation was made in the group, showing that considering the average walking speed of a person and the distance to be covered, getting there would take 33 hours instead of 3. So, for some children, the wrestling day started with maths.

Most of the children had had no previous contact with wrestling and anticipation and excitement was high. Some of the children knew nothing of wrestling; however, they were familiar with judo and could find parallels with it. The name of Heiki Nabi was also unfamiliar for most of the children, but they were all the more happy later to all receive T-shirts with the signature of the Olympic gold medalist.

An example training session was held at the Korrus3 wrestling club, introducing the rules of wrestling. When the children had put on their sports clothes and taken a first look at the wrestling hall, run, somersaulted, and even played ball, the wrestling trainer Martin asked them to line themselves up based on height. Some children were a bit shy to stand between two people they didn’t know instead of staying next to a friend or a fellow group member. After a bit of guidance, all the children managed to find their place in the line and, as they found out later, many of them also made new friends and acquiaintances thanks to that.

For a start, trainer Martin showed some tricks with his little son and the children loved it. It was like magic to them and they kept wondering how can the small boy have such good balance. Several boys who also go to wrestling classes were amazed that children that small are already wrestling. After that, it was time for a little lunch and then more serious wrestling practice began.

In the beginning, the children did a bit of gymnastics and acrobatic exercises in which the girls also felt a bit more confident. At first, they had to perform some playful exercises that were too easy in the children’s opinion. But as the practice went on and the exercises got tougher, the comments ended quickly and practicing of wrestling techniques proved exausting to many. The last exercises were quite complex and those who could do them were looked at with admiration. By doing the exercises themselves, the children understood how difficult it is to have a serious workout, but they also saw that this is the way to achieve results.

After some warm-up exercises, everyone could pick a partner and practice wrestling on their own under the watchful eye of the trainer. Säde picked a girl she did not know and they immediately became friends. She also liked that in one of the pairs consisting of a boy and a girl, the girl won.

Toni and Nikita went along with everything from the very beginning and felt happy for the opportunity to compete with the older ones as well. Nikita got so caught up in wrestling that he did not even have time to take a lunch break – while the others were eating, he wrestled with a leather robot. There were others as well who didn’t have lunch – some of the bigger boys were so thrilled by sports that they didn’t want to waste any time on eating.

The boys who have wrestling practice two or three times a week were very happy to have this day. They could see what the rooms meant for training other children look like. Maikl who goes to karate practice felt equally good in a wrestling ring and later compared these two sports. A lot of excitement was caused by climbing ropes on which the children had a lot of fun – the boys planned to talk to their trainer to see if they could have one like that as well.

Although some of the children found it hard at first to participate under the guidance of a trainer and to work in a team, they soon got over that and started to work together with the others. The trainer Martin was able to attract the attention of the children and to encourage them by planning the entire process so that most of the children forgot about their fears and participated actively.

The children could also see a real example of a wrestling match and try out the clinches themselves. The little students did very well. When the first trainee threw the trainer on the mat, the others could not believe it was possible. Some of the children from substitute homes could also have a try with the trainer. 8-year-old Mari was thrilled because she was able to put the trainer on his back. She excitedly told everyone that she was able to beat the trainer.

The children learned several clinch techniques during the day and developed their ability to concentrate by listening to the trainer’s instructions. They also tested their perseverance in imitating the moves, at the same time learning to control their strength so as not to hurt the others.

All the children participating in the wrestling day received a shirt with Heiki Nabi’s signature and the more outstanding trainees who will continue with wrestling at local classes got some necessary sports equipment and personal special wrestling boots. A shirt with the name of an Olympic gold medalist was a big thing for the children and some of them didn’t even dare to put it on for the time of taking a photo.

After the thrill received from the practice, the children went to the Kalev Spa where they slid down the flumes and enjoyed a relaxing jacuzzi bath. Water and saunas ended the day nicely – the children were in a great mood and several of them had become enthusiastic about sport and willing to take on even bigger challenges.

The wrestling day was filled with true sporting spirit and showed that wrestling is not fighting, but a sport that is as useful to the body as any other physical activity. Minds were broadened and new knowledge received of wrestling and sport. Although some of the children found wrestling to be painful, everyone agreed that by practicing the right techniques they can become as successful as Heiki Nabi.

Triin Lumi
Non-Profit Association SEB Heategevusfond

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