Hesquiaht girl has golden moment in Windsor

By Sam Laskaris, April 20, 2011

Daley Forbes moves up a weight divisionĀ and still out-classes the competition.

Windsor, Ont. — 

Daley Forbes has won another national wrestling championship.

Forbes, a member of the Hesquiaht First Nation, captured the gold medal in the girls' 75-kilogram division at the Canadian juvenile tournament, which concluded April 10 in Windsor, Ont.
The juvenile category is for those aged 17 and 18.

Forbes, who is 17, had won a national cadet (15-16) title in the 72-kilo class at the 2010 Canadian championships staged in Burnaby. There was no 72-kilo grouping at this year's nationals, so Forbes moved up to the next heaviest class.

The teen took up the sport five years ago when she joined the Alberni Valley Wrestling Club (AVWC). But she moved up to Fort St. John in northern B.C. this past summer, so she was not able to represent the local club at this year's nationals.

To prepare for the nationals, however, Forbes returned to Port Alberni , a 17-hour drive from her current home , and trained with the local club during stretches in February and March.

And though she technically earned points for the Fort St. John Wrestling Club, she was still coached at the Canadian meet by James Messenger, the head coach of the AVWC.

"I knew she was capable of (winning the gold medal)," Messenger said. "But moving up an age division usually poses a bit of a problem. Normally those that are in the first year of a two-year grouping don't do as well."

Forbes won all four of her bouts in Windsor. Three of her victories, including the gold-medal bout, came after she pinned her opponent.

Despite moving up to the juvenile ranks, Forbes had some lofty expectations this year.

"I wanted to win the provincials and the nationals," she said.

Forbes captured the B.C. crown by winning all five of her bouts at the provincial tournament held in Abbotsford in February.

And she was able to end her season with the golden moment in Windsor.

"She had one little scare in her second bout," Messenger said. "She got put on her back in the second round."

But Forbes was able to rebound from that slight setback, which occurred with about 10 seconds remaining in the round.

"She held off until the end of the round," Messenger added.

For Forbes, this actually marked the third consecutive year that she had won a medal at a national tournament. She also captured a silver medal at the 2009 Canadian cadet championships.

Forbes said winning gold this time around was harder than last year's triumph.

"It was a little more challenging in part because I don't live in Port Alberni anymore," she said.

Though she still practices twice a week with her new club in Fort St. John, Forbes said the calibre of wrestlers she's training with is not as high as it was in Port Alberni the last several years.

The national tournament in Windsor signified the end of the 2010/2011 season for Forbes.

"I'm just going to train all summer now," she said.

The next competition she enters might be The War On The Floor, a meet which will be staged at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University in mid-December.

Forbes is also already looking ahead to the 2012 national tournament.

"I'm going for my third national title in Nova Scotia," she said.