Royal British Legion’s U-turn on women’s wrestling event in Norwich

A women's wrestling team has had to find a last-minute venue after they were asked to cancel their date at the Royal British Legion.

Pro-Wrestling: EVE All Women's Professional Wrestling, featuring 20 women wrestlers from around Europe, was set to hold an event at the charity's Norwich branch in Aylsham Road tomorrow.

Just days before the event, however, organisers were told that they could no longer hold the show at the venue.

Claims have been made that the U-turn has come after complaints were made about hosting an all-women's wrestling event.

Suffolk-based Dan Read, 28, who promotes the women's wrestling events with his wife Emily, 25, who grew up in Wymondham, said: 'We've been given several different stories.

'The first message we got was that there had been complaints about holding an all-women's wrestling event.

'We were then told that the venue doesn't have the correct licence to hold it. We have been struggling to put posters up at other places in Norwich.

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'People have misconceptions about women's wrestling and there's this stigma of sleaze; but it's not like that, it's about girl power and girls having positive role models of strong and powerful women.'

Mr and Mrs Read, who have a three-year-old daughter and work in a health food shop, started promoting women's wrestling shows in 2007 and have held events all over the country, including in Great Yarmouth, Gloucester, Sudbury, and Kent. They have also toured Portugal.

Tomorrow's event was set to be their first in Norwich and was going to be filmed for Japanese television.

They got a phone call on Monday at 2pm to say they could no longer host the show at the Royal British Legion. It will now be held at Project Norwich nightclub at Riverside from 6pm.

Mr Read added: 'It's a family show and kids go free. The women wear a lot more than what the guys do in men's wrestling. I've never had any complaints from any father or mother. This is the first time we've had a venue react like this.

'There have been other wrestling shows held at the Royal British Legion before which have been successful but they've never had an all-women's wrestling match.

'We've sold tickets to fans in Germany, France, Scotland and Holland who are coming to Norwich especially. We are the only all-female wrestling promoters in Europe so fans are prepared to travel and show their support.'

The Evening News contacted the Royal British Legion but no one wanted to comment.

What do you think of women's wrestling? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk