An academy for budding wrestling stars in Preston has opened its doors.
The club, close to the city centre, opened for the first time on Friday, and will be offering classes from tomorrow.
The St Mary’s Street Academy, set up by Steven Fludder of Preston City Wrestling (PCW), is hoped to develop “home-grown talent”.
“It’s not about teaching people to throw a punch”, said Steven.
“With wrestling, a lot of it is character building and confidence and speaking and things that are transferable into other jobs.
“It’s about working with people, teaching how to speak and how to present your body language.”
Students at the academy will be trained by professional wrestlers, with the first sessions run by Chris Masters.
Steven said: “It is going to be used as a feeder company for PCW to develop home-grown talent. At the moment we bring talent from all over the UK.
“We are one of the main players in the UK, so people can get their foot in the door whereas they didn’t before - they would have to travel somewhere like Manchester and that’s not an option for everybody.
“People just love wrestling, people obsess about it and it’s just a way for them to explore any hopes and dreams they might have of getting into the business.
“It’s not that easy to get into the wrestling business and develop those skills, so now I’m trying to give people that opportunity.
“It’s a big open door for people to walk into if they want.”
Planning permission to turn the industrial unit into the wrestling academy was granted unanimously earlier this month.
Steven said: “I can’t wait – it’s going to be great.”