Norwich-based wrestlers grapple with council over show licensing

PUBLISHED: 06:30 30 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:35 30 June 2018

Ricky and Zak Knight from the World Association of Wrestling. Picture: Nick Butcher

Ricky and Zak Knight from the World Association of Wrestling. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

In their hard-hitting world they are more used to ring ropes than red tape.

However, a Norwich-based wrestling promotion has claimed it has faced constant grappling with North Norfolk District Council over licensing regulations of its shows.

The World Association of Wrestling organises regular shows across venues in the county, training wrestlers locally as well as bringing them from around the globe.

However, its owners say they regularly struggle to bring their shows to North Norfolk, due to regulations put in place by the district council.

Ricky Bevis, WAW’s owner - who goes by the moniker of ‘Rowdy’ Ricky Knight - said the promotion frequently struggles to organise shows in the districts.

Mr Bevis said: “North Norfolk is the only council that demands we have a GP at our shows. We always have a trained, private medic at the events, which for other councils is sufficient.
“We used to regularly run shows in places like North Walsham, Stalham and Fakenham, but now we have such problems.”

Mr Bevis said these were linked to the fact wrestling shows are treated with the same precautions as boxing events and that the company had difficulties gaining temporary event notices for their shows.

He said: “Everybody knows wrestling is a form of entertainment - it is like pantomime. It is not the same as boxing in the sense of competitors physically trying to hurt each other.

“All we want to do is take our form of entertainment and bring it to places like Fakenham and North Walsham, which otherwise do not get to see it.”

Despite the troubles, WAW does host an annual event in Cromer, as part of the Cromer Carnival and also held a show in Fakenham in March.

A spokesman for NNDC said: “Licensing conditions for wrestling matches in North Norfolk are as advised by government legislation and guidance, and include the presence of an appropriately qualified medical practitioner, rules governing the structure of a ring and a requirement that members of the public shall not occupy any seat within 2.5 metres of the ring.

“These conditions are designed to ensure the safety of both the public and participants attending this contact sport.

“The health and wellbeing of all participants in any sporting event is paramount and we will continue to work with promoters of events to ensure that this is considered and appropriately managed.”

‘Norfolk’ places WAW won’t struggle

While the World Association of Wrestling claim to have major issues putting on shows in North Norfolk, here are 10 (fictional) places in the county they may not struggle with quite as much:

• Bret ‘The Hitman ‘ Heartsease

• Dwayne ‘The Rockland’ Johnson

• Felbrigg Daddy

• Giant Happisburgh-stacks

• GoldBergh Apton

• Holt Hogan

• Kirby Kane

• ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flordon

• The Under-West Acre

• Vince McMarham

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