By Aubyn O’Grady
With support from the University of Toronto Centre for Community Partnerships Community-Engaged Initiative Grant, The League of Lady Wrestlers (LOLW) founder Big Jody Mufferaw(AubynO’Grady) along with three other wrestlers: SHREEEEKA, The Stinker, and Helga Hysteria, visited the GLOW club on February 24, 2016 at the Rosedale Day School to present a wrestling character workshop. The GLOW (Girls Living Out Wellness) Club is an after-school program that allows for female students at the Rosedale Day school to participate in activity-based programming such as yoga and fitness classes. The LOLW was connected with the Glow Club by TennielleSuckow, a teacher at Rosedale Day school and facilitator of the Club.
We started by introducing the LOLW and our own wrestling characters and presenting a slideshow of some of our other LOLW wrestlers. We also included photos of historical women wrestlers from other leagues, particularly those with flashy costumes to draw inspiration from.
After looking at other inspiration wrestlers, it was time to work and our own, and the LOLW wrestlers split the GLOW girls into small groups to fill out our LOLW character worksheets (included). Each GLOW girl decided her character’s name, backstory, and signature moves. After we had all completed our character worksheets, we shared our new wrestlers with the group.
With support from the Community Engaged Initiatives Grant, we were able to purchase fabric which Aubynsewed into an assortment of arm and head bands, and capes (modeled in the style of the WWF wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior). The tickle trunk included masks and a variety of other props. We were also able to purchase face painting supplies and, importantly, costume glitter, and we set up a make-up stand where the half lizard, half wrestlers and the tiger girls were able to perfect their looks.
Once everyone had outfitted their character with a costume, the group learned how to make a wrestling entrance with Big Jody Mufferaw. The girls learned how to “work the crowd” according to whether they were a face (a good character) or a heel (a bad character).
We invited parents to attend the “big reveal” we set up coloured lights, a pink golden curtain, a fog machine (Fog machines are an integral part of the LOLW aesthetic, but we decided against using it at the GLOW workshop for fear of setting off the sprinkler system. Big Jody Mufferawplayed the role of the announcer, and announced the name and bio of each new wrestler as she made her grand entrance, to the sound of cheering friends and family. SHREEEEKA set up a camera to capture the moment of the big reveal.
Our teacher contact, TennielleSuckowhad very positive feedback for the projects saying of the girls, “they rocked it, thanks for opening them up to a new and exciting world!”
We would like to thank the Community Engaged Initiatives Grant for supporting this workshop. With support from the fund, project was a huge success and the LOLW will be continuing our outreach work and programming with other schools.