Arm wrestling champ to change image of sport

  • North Island: East Coast

Arm wrestling champ John Leach is on a mission to change the image of the sport in NZ. He's formed the Lock n Drop Arm Wrestling Club in Gisborne, to help move it away from the pub scene and into a more open forum.

It's a Thursday night in Gisborne and the boys from Lock n Drop are getting some training in.

For club founder Leach this sport is exciting, “Arm wrestling is a great sport, it's real extreme, it's real explosive, it comes with hard work anyway trying to get your arm bent back all the time.”

But it's a discipline that is about more than just big biceps.

“There's a lot of technique that goes with it so it's not just brute power,” says Leach

As I'm about to find out, it is also quite technical. The club wants to raise the profile of arm wrestling, not only for the guys but also for the ladies.

Arm wrestler Darlene Hohipa says “Look at me I'm only little, like 58 kgs and I give it a go against the boys and they're like 100kgs, I try my hardest but I still get amongst it.”

The club headed by Leach, who is currently ranked second in NZ for his weight division, wants the sport to gain momentum throughout the country.

Leach says “Why am I so passionate about it? I've always liked arm wrestling because I've always liked to test a man’s power in their arm, so it's all about power.”

The club is holding its first competition on Saturday, March 26, at 2nd NZEF Gisborne at 3pm.