Mount Maunganui Wrestling Club is looking forward to their biggest and busiest time of the season, with their wrestlers and grapplers preparing for two major Wrestling New Zealand (WNZ) tournaments.

The next tournament of note is WNZ Club Championships to be held in Katikati on Sunday August 21.

While Mount Maunganui's head coach Mark Grayling is at the Rio Olympics in his other role as WNZ national coach, his team of coaches and wrestlers are in competition warm-up mode for the club championships and the national championships to follow next month.

Grayling was not expecting to go to Rio as no New Zealand wrestler had qualified until a positive drugs of an Australian Greco-Roman wrestler saw Craig Miller from Otago become a late addition to the New Zealand Olympic team bound for Rio.


It is Grayling's first trip to an Olympic Games.

"With 40 wrestlers raring to fire at the club championships Mount Maunganui should go close to winning the club title for the first time," Grayling said before leaving for Rio.

"Leading our team is Tayla Ford who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and veteran Dean Sunborn who is making a return to the sport.

"Caylen Greenwood, Chanel Kavanagh, Ella Derry, Isaac Dobbs, Ben Tustin, Taavi Porter, Blair Bromwich and Seth Burgess are all big improvers this season and should spearhead the Mount Maunganui charge to be top club."

Just three weeks after the club championships, a team of 25 Mount Maunganui wrestlers will journey over the Kaimai Range to participate in the WNZ National Championships to be held in Hamilton from September 8-10.

Tayla Ford, who was adjudged the most outstanding female wrestler at the 2015 National Championships in Tauranga, will spearhead the Mount Maunganui charge for success at the 2016 National Championships.

"Tayla was unlucky not to make the Olympics after finishing third at the Africa/Oceania qualifying tournament in Algeria during April," Grayling said.

Another Mount wrestler expected to perform with distinction at the 2016 Nationals is Chris Galbraith-Clarke.

"Chris is a two-time Australian National champion who is wrestling out of our club for further quality training opportunities.

"Another leading chance is Marshall Gibson who has his sights firmly fixed on the Heavyweight title in Hamilton," Grayling said.