October 2020

BASED Wrestling

What we did

Founded in January 2020 BASED (Beat Aussie Streets Every Day) is a wrestling program to support young people dealing with challenging life issues using the sport of wrestling. Like many sport based programs the COVID-19 situation created a significant challenge. Following the easing of restrictions in Western Australia, BASED launched the "Beach Bash" series of events with the first being run on the 4th of July 2020.

The Beach Bash series events are run at Ossie Indoor Beach Volleyball in Osborne Park, Western Australia. This world first idea, (Indoor Beach wrestling) has seen BASED partner with a diverse selection of businesses to create a totally unique experience.

Partnerships developed for this event included;

  • Ossie Indoor Beach Volleyball. (location/facility);
  • Well Run Tournaments LLC. (USA based competition platform);
  • PC Scoreboards. (USA based scoreboard system);
  • Stylish Pics photography, and
  • Quality Press.

Milestones achieved so far.

  • 4th July 2020 - First "Beach Bash" indoor beach wrestling event in the world! Also the first use of the WAR Zone competition system in Australia!
  • 2nd August 2020 - Participant numbers more than double and included more international champions! 2 new referees awarded their whistles! A further 2 people commence their referee training.
  • 6th September 2020, New referee shirts and kits provided to staff. Further 3 referees awarded their whistles.
  • 7th September 2020 - Official release of the "Beach Bash - Summer Series" and additional "Freestyling" wrestling event.

The Beach Bash events now run on the first Sunday of every month and are scheduled beyond December 2020, with athletes coming from all grappling backgrounds and skill levels including many who had never been involved in any combat sports before. It has also trained 5 additional referees aged from 12 to 60 and has in a very short space of time created a growing community supporting young athletes and giving young people a voice within their sport.

Why we did it

BASED founder Karen Gregory observed that while she had friends involved in combat sports like Judo, Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), very few of them connected with each other and had a chance to socialise together. Previous efforts to engage the State and National bodies with the idea of interaction between sports and players met significant resistance. With COVID 19 it became even more challenging for all young athletes, especially as none of the international level players could train and compete in the usual way needed to maintain their level of fitness, focus and competitiveness. 

The Beach Bash was created as a way to bridge the gap for players in these different disciplines to enable them to grow and develop while making friends and connecting with the wider community. It also provides elite athletes a chance to test techniques, develop themselves and for them to serve as role models for young community members in a fun and social environment.

How we know it worked

At present the participation rate continues to climb at each event, as more clubs and groups begin to see the value to their young people. Clubs whose players regularly attend these events report that they are seeing increased attendance and new players due to the visibility and consistency of these events.

Sampling is conducted as part of the continual improvement process with coaches, players, staff and spectators sampled at random to gauge the perceived value of the experience at every event, with at least 1 key improvement implemented at the following event.

Feedback has so far been universally positive and requests from participants prompted the creation of a further event (known as "Freestyling") to better support the grappling community as a whole.

Given the current trend it is expected that participant numbers will exceed 100 before the end of 2020!