We recently published the first article from the Health and Wellbeing in Professional Wrestling project. It thinks about the problem of concussion in professional wrestling and indicates ways we might make progress. The lead writer on this article was the newly-minted Professor Dominic Malcolm of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences here at Loughborough. We are proud to share the findings of this part of the British Academy project and sincerely hope it will make a difference to the wrestling community. It can be read open access here.
In November 2022 I received funding from Loughborough University to co-host the first wrestling symposium at the Houses of Parliament in conjunction with Playfight Wrestling School and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Wrestling. It was the first time that change-makers from across the wrestling industry (over 60 people attended) have come together to try and make positive change in British professional wrestling. I presented about the British Academy project data alongside my colleague Dr Dominic Malcolm. Other speakers included the Right Honorable Michelle Donelan MP (the Minister Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport); the co-chairs of the APPG Alex Davies-Jones MP and Mark Fletcher MP; Tom Dawkins and Claire Heafford from innovative wrestling school Playfight; Steve Duncan-RIce from the Equity Union; the Ann Craft Trust; and Rhia O'Reilly who gave an impassioned intervention on #SpeakingOut. It was a really successful day and, we hope, will lead to better relationships across the wrestling community.
Over the past few months, Sam and I have had some wonderful conversations with wrestlers, academics and creatives as part of the Grappling Arts podcast. We have discussed such a wide range of topics: wrestling and physical culture, how we can reimagine wrestling as a form of feminist resistance, local and global cultures of wrestling, and much, much more. Do check out the new episodes if this interests you. Coming soon will be a recording of our roundtable on Collaborative Touch (with Tom Dawkins, Claire Heafford, Dominic Malcolm, Gareth McNarry and me) which we presented as part of the LU Arts Interface Festival this month, and an episode with wonderful performance maker Heather Bandenburg.
Today we launched the Health and Wellbeing in Professional Wrestling project website. We are delighted with the look of it and hope to be regularly updating this website to document our findings, next steps and making the outputs available to the general public. This project, funded by the British Academy, aims to conduct a supportive healthcheck of British professional wrestling. We have now completed the interview phase and are working through all the mounds of data we have gathered over the past four months. We are really excited to share the outcomes of this project. Do keep an eye on the website if you want to know more: wrestling-research.lboro.ac.uk/
A 2021 Update...
Well, 2021 is zooming by, isn't it?
A Place for Musings
New research, collaborations, projects.