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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 2 (May 1, 1940.)

Wrestling and Football in War-time

Wrestling and Football in War-time.

In the days immediately following the outbreak of war, there were many to declare that sport should be curtailed and that we should immediately settle down to the serious task ahead. A saner message was given by our leaders—they counselled a continuance of normal sporting activities, fully realising that sport plays an important role in the development of physical fitness and mental activity.

For that reason I am pleased to notice that the Dominion of New Zealand Wrestling Union has decided to continue with wrestling and not go into hibernation until the war has been brought to a successful end. For the male there are few sports to equal wrestling as a body-developer and as a method of self-defence it is unchallenged. Many of New Zealand's finest physical specimens at present in Egypt owe their development to participation in amateur wrestling.

There may be a few to cavil at the continuance of professional wrestling, but the plain fact is that it would not be possible to continue with amateur wrestling without finance, and the only manner in which the finance may be obtained is from the funds derived by staging professional contests. It is the aim of the Wrestling Union to give additional attention to the amateur side of the sport and to make wrestling facilities available at every military camp and Air Force station. It has also been decided that individual associations shall make available for patriotic purposes portions of their surplus funds.

Football will be one of the hardest hit sports—particularly in the senior grades. Judged by the talent of the New Zealand Army Rugby team in Egypt there must be a large percentage of representative players already overseas and more will follow. The position may arise where the senior grades will be abolished and play confined to grades of under-age or military unfit players … but the game will go on!