Nfld. & Labrador

Success of Sheshatshiu wrestlers builds sport in Labrador

There’s a winning combination of work ethic and natural talent in Sheshatshiu, according to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Canada Games wrestling coach, Peter Petipas.

Nain and Natuashish to get teams

Josh Dyke of Sheshatshiu (on top) won this opening North American Indigenous Games match against Gavin White-eye of Team Ontario. ((Ron Desmoulins/CBC))

There's a winning combination of work ethic and natural talent in Sheshatshiu, according to Newfoundland and Labrador's Canada Games wrestling coach, Peter Petipas.

"They generally, for the most part, just destroy everyone else in the province, to be perfectly honest with you," he told CBC's Labrador Morning.

"I just think that they all have a lot of dedication to training … If they're not wrestling, they're going to the gym, they're doing weight training, they're doing cardio, they're going for a jog."

Peter Petipas, left, stands with Josh Dyke after he took bronze at the cadet/juvenile Canadian Wrestling Championships in April. (Submitted)

Two wrestlers from the community help make up the nine-man Canada Games team heading to Winnipeg next week.

More still returned last month from the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, where three teens earned bronze.

They generally, for the most part, just destroy everyone else in the province- Wrestling coach Peter Petipas 

It's that success that has sparked an interest in other Indigenous Labrador communities.

"Our provincial association in conjunction with the province is trying to set up a program in Nain now for the fall," said Petipas.

"We're just in the process of trying to figure out how to get the mats up there."

Natuashish is trying to start a team too.

Clockwise from top left, Aaron Pater, Josh Dyke and Marcus Organ, all from Labrador, receive bronze medals at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto. (Submitted)

According to Petipas, Josh Dyke, 17, of Sheshatshiu is one of the athletes who caused communities to take notice.

He was one of the three to win a bronze in Toronto and has been named one of the province's top five athletes to watch at the upcoming Canada Games.

"It's very exciting and I'm very nervous at the same time because I'm hoping to impress them and not screw up, you know?," he said.

"I'm hoping to get a scholarship for my wrestling … Just, like, let it take me somewhere."