Westminster ‘must take British wrestling more seriously’, says Welsh Labour MP
Westminster “must take British wrestling more seriously”, according to a Welsh Labour MP.
Alex Davies-Jones, who represents Pontypridd, says “we cannot afford to laugh it off” because it is an unregulated sector.
The MP has complained that the “mention of wrestling drew chuckles” in the Westminster parliament, “even when talking of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
She co-wrote an article for The Times with Mark Fletcher, a Conservative MP, and chair the all-party parliamentary group on wrestling, and they have also produced a report on the subject.
They say that many of the mainly self-employed workers in the sector have struggled to access government funds during the pandemic “because wrestling falls between the gap of sport and theatrical entertainment”.
They have called for professionalising the industry by registering companies, and instituting basic health and safety principles, such as concussion protocols.
In the article, they say: “This is an industry that in our view could be a fantastic British source of pride and a top export.
“Left unregulated, it risks being a cause for embarrassment and harm. Tomorrow, our report calls for change to ensure the industry reaches its full potential.
“We have made several recommendations about professionalising the industry. These range from registering companies where appropriate, to urgently instituting basic health and safety principles, including concussion protocols.
“Some of this will be delivered through carrot but so too there is a stick. We will be making recommendations regarding insurance and licencing regimes so that protections for wrestler’s wellbeing are not optional.
“The pandemic has devastated the industry here in Britain and across the globe. Shows have been cancelled, schools unable to train and fans prevented from attending shows with associated mental health impacts.”