BEST SPORTS TEAM: Just Wrestling Federation is nominated

A GROUP of wrestlers who have helped raise hundreds of pounds for charity have been nominated as best sports team in the Herald/Gazette Community Stars Awards.

ust Wrestling Federation (JWF) is made up of a group of men who formed the World Wrestling Entertainment-esque group in a back garden in Southwick.

Now nine years on, the team has between 20 and 25 members who attend fund-raising events such as the Durrington Festival.

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They have also started to do fund-raising events for little six-year-old Sophie Neugent, who has cerebral palsy and who received special recognition in last year’s Community Stars Awards.

Mary-ann Vear, who nominated JWF said: “Although they look like a grumpy bunch of people, really they are warm-hearted and always are up for helping others in need.

“They always manage to put on a good show.”

Although JWF help raise money for good causes it receives no funding, relying on its membership subscription. Mary-ann, 48, of Palmer Road, Angmering, said the worthy team deserved to have its own ring and has been holding fund-raising events to help the group out.

She said: “JWF does not ask for anything. The members have to pay out about £225 a time to hire a ring. I thought if we could raise money for them they can carry on doing what they love doing.

“If people can help them they can help others.”

The team meets once a month to practise and wrestles every month for their on-going fans at St Richard’s church hall, Goring.

The wrestlers each have their own wrestling name and try to emulate their favourite wrestlers with the moves they do.

Although there is some debate as to whether JWF is a sport, many supporters have described it as “sport entertainment”.

Steve Crane, director of JWF, said: “The wrestlers are not as out of shape as they might appear.

“There is a difference between super fit to run a marathon but fit enough to do a 20-minute match.

“People need to be able not to ‘blow up’ as we call it.”

Mary-ann added: “It is wrestling but they have to be careful how they fall.

“They have to fall a certain way. If they do not they can get hurt, as one wrestler found out when he broke his knee.”