Loughborough University partners with MPs to hold parliamentary conference on wrestling

In the wake of the WWE's first major event in the UK for 30 years, a group of MPs is announcing its intention to ensure the legacy of the event is a stronger and healthier wrestling industry this side of the Atlantic.

Clash at the Castle took place in front of 62,000 fans at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff, on Saturday 3 September.

Now, Loughborough and Playfight, one of the top wrestling training schools in the country, have joined forces with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wrestling and announced a parliamentary conference to provide training, develop networks and work towards a ‘code of better practice’ for British wrestling.

Wrestlers, promoters and coaches will all be invited to join the conference.

The conference announcement builds on previous successful Loughborough University-sponsored collaborative initiatives, including the British Academy-funded ‘Health and Wellbeing in Professional Wrestling’ project, which conducted a supportive health check of British professional wrestling in the hope that it would emerge from the pandemic in a safer and more inclusive way, and which overlapped with the APPG’s landmark report on the independent British wrestling scene.

The APPG released its report in April 2021, reviewing regulation, funding, safeguarding and wellbeing in British wrestling, and finding several gaps.

Since the report was released, the group has met with numerous key bodies, secured funding for British promotions working overseas, gained support from the Health and Safety Executive, and is in discussion with relevant stakeholders about a wrestling ring-safety standard for Britain.

Professor Claire Warden, of Loughborough's School of Design and Creative Arts, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to pool our resources and work together to support the UK's exciting wrestling scene.

“The data collected through the Health and Wellbeing in Professional Wrestling project can now be put into action.

“We hope this unique collaboration will enable the wrestling community to come together to create a safe, inclusive environment for performers and fans alike.”

Alex Davies-Jones MP, Labour co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wrestling said: “I’m so pleased to see people are enthusiastic about British wrestling. We need to make sure that anyone inspired to become a wrestler themselves enters an industry which supports and protects them.

“This conference builds on our report, it helps put our recommendations into action, and demonstrates that we are in this for the long haul.

I’m hopeful that it will help various elements of the wrestling industry here in Britain to find a collective voice. I’m delighted we’re to be joining with Loughborough and Playfight, we’re quite the tag team!”

Playfight training school said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the APPG & Loughborough University to host a full day of lively discussion and tailored engagements for the British Independent Wrestling Scene.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together wrestlers, coaches and promoters to deepen relationships, build trust and create alignment within the community as we dust off the devastating effects of the pandemic and learn important lessons from Speaking Out, moving towards a more equitable future for all.”

The All-Party Parliamentary report on British Wrestling can be accessed here.

Image credit: Rob Brazier/Resurgence


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/169

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.