Stephan Jaegy is set to become the next big thing in wrestling. An avid wrestler since the age of 10, he is coached by John Kinsela (1968 Mexico Olympics and 1972 Munich Olympics) at Hornsby Police Citizens Youth Club and hopes to one day compete in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
While he has already won heaps of titles, Stephan narrowly missed out on being selected to represent Australia at last year’s Olympics.
“I’ve won a fair few schoolboys cadets,” he says. “I also won the Nationals last year but just missed out on the Olympics, so I’m really aiming for Athens in 2004.”
Right now, though, his sights are set on next year’s Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where he hopes to take home gold.
“I’m focusing on trying to get a camp together to go overseas so that I can train for the Nationals next year and go on to the Commonwealth Games. It’s much more competitive overseas.”
Stephan owes a lot of success to his coach, whom he says has been both friend and mentor throughout his formative years.
“John has always looked after me. He’s my hero and good friend and I really look up to him.”
In his spare time Stephan coaches young kids at the local youth centre, encouraging them to follow in his footsteps.
“Sport is good for kids,” he says. “It’s certainly always been there for me, keeping me out of trouble and allowing me to see the world. Wrestling is especially good because there’s no kicking or punching, but you can still get your aggression out.”
Wrestling has been practised since the ancient Olympics, making it one of the most ancient sports in history. There are two major kinds: Greco-Roman and freestyle. The major difference is that with freestyle wrestling, you can hold your opponent below the waist.
Stephan is a freestyle wrestler and says that every country has its own particular style of wrestling. But at the end of the day it all comes down to how well you know your sport.
“You can be stronger or fitter, but as long as you have technique you will win. In fact I think Kooris would be very naturally talented at wrestling. They have good fighting spirit and they never give up.”