North-East Wrestlers End Year on a High – Friday, 15 December 2017

A north-east wrestling club has completed a year of outstanding competition results with a further haul of medals in two of the closing championships of 2017.

Club representatives from Oldmeldrum-based ETKO Wrestling Academy returned triumphant from the recent Aspull Warriors Open Competition in Wigan and the British Junior Championships in Cardiff, building on an outstanding year of successes.

ETKO Wrestling Academy is led by head coach Viorel Etko, a seven-time British wrestling champion and the current Commonwealth Games bronze medal holder.

Viorel, who placed second at the Veteran World Championships in October, has also taken the top spot on the podium this year with wins at both the English Senior Championships and British Closed Championships. He is in Johannesburg from 14-17 December for the Commonwealth Games qualifying championships after leading his club representatives to victory in their recent events.

ETKO Wrestling’s assistant coach Nicolae Cojocaru remains undefeated in the UK this year after claiming gold in the 74k category during November’s Aspull Warriors Open Competition. Nicolae is the current Tryst Scottish Open Champion and British Senior Champion.

Following in his father’s footsteps is Viorel’s 12-year-old son Leon Etko, who took gold in the 46k category at the British Junior Championships and in the 40k category at the Aspull Warriors Open Competition. Leon’s 12-year-old club mate Colby Taylor took silver in the 46k category and bronze in the 44k category in the same two events. 13-year-old Erin Mortimer claimed a further silver for the club when competing in Wales, claiming silver in the 69k female category.

ETKO Wrestling Academy’s youngsters end the year with an impressive series of titles between them. Leon Etko is the current British Wrestling Closed Junior Champion and British Junior Champion and Colby Taylor holds the current English Junior Champion title. The club has enjoyed substantial growth in the past few months, with intake doubling since August. 

Viorel Etko, head coach, ETKO Wrestling Academy said: “We are delighted not only with the success of our youngsters, who have worked incredibly hard, but also with the growing local interest in wrestling as a sport.

“We have recently introduced a Mighty Movers session for primary one children, along with additional wrestling classes for children in primary two to four.

“It is pleasing to see an increasing number of girls attending these classes and we hope that their representation will continue to grow.”

ETKO Wrestling Academy is based at ETKO Sports Academy in Oldmeldrum. The facility, which opened a new 1092m² purpose-built gymnastics centre in 2016, offers a variety of coached sessions, fitness classes and activities for all ages and abilities. Its staff team of 21 welcome over 1000 children through the doors each week. Further information on ETKO Sports Academy and ETKO Wrestling Academy is available at or by calling 01651 873876.