Wrestling’s Jill of all trades
Ashley Menagh has a well-deserved reputation of being able to do everything and anything to make a wrestling meet run successfully.
On Wednesday afternoon at Canada Games Park during team matches at the 2022 Canada Summer Games, she added babysitter to her list of duties. While Ontario referee Shelby Tremblay was officiating on the mats, Menagh was looking after infant Charli Tremblay.
“She’s a Jack (Jill?) of all trades running the tournament,” said Dave Collie, a coach at Brock and the former long-time head coach at Beamsville and District Secondary School.
The 35-year-old Menagh’s main function at wrestling meets is serving as the draw master. In that role, she: receives all the entries; sorts them by age, gender and weight class; groups them into brackets; uses the Trackwrestling computer program to create a draw; sends the draw out to coaches for any corrections and changes; and, on the day of the tournament, she prints all the draw sheets, enters all the results and keeps everything updated and running.
But wait, that’s not all.
“I’m pretty involved in the tech,” said the culinary arts teacher at Goodwill. “Trackwrestling has a lot of technical stuff so you can run a tournament entirely paperless if you want to. All the TVs, laptops, cords and cables have to all be set up and running. I’ve learned it all and kind of done it all.”
This past year, she did every university tournament except for two paperless with and about seven or eight other tournaments paperless as well.
Her reputation in the wrestling community has grown and this year she was flown out to run the Canada Cup and the non-Olympic weight class trials in Prince Edward Island.
She’s also known to contribute in other areas not related to wrestling.
“I am helping out with the little bambinos. For little kids, I will bring arts and crafts and colouring pages for the little kids tournaments,” Menagh said. “It is lot of fun.”
No one has to tell Collie how valuable she is to the sport.
“It’s funny. One of the people higher up in the organization of the Games was asking me just earlier how things were going and then pointed out at Ash and said, ‘Oh you gotta hire her. She’s amazing.’ I said, ‘Oh we know she’s amazing.’ She saw all the work that Ash was doing. She was setting up, problem solving and getting things to work out.”
Like many of the volunteers at the Canada Games, Menagh is putting in long hours.
“I got here at 7:30 this morning and I’ll be here probably until about 10 o’clock tonight. Usually I’m the first one in and the last one out.”
She volunteers for the love of the sport.
“It’s a team aspect but it’s also individual, and just seeing people go through the sport,” Menagh said. “There’s officials now that used to be wrestlers that are now officials. I’ve written their name down a 100 times and now they’re a colleague of mine.”
She first became involved in wrestling while a student at Kernahan Park under coach Kathryn Nuyten.
“I wrestled, got injured and couldn’t compete but I still wanted to stay involved in the sport. I had a physical injury so being an on-mat official wouldn’t work for me so I became a drawmaster,” Menagh said. “I volunteered, I went to a few provincial tournaments, helped run some of the local tournaments and fell in love with it ever since.”
She has now been serving as draw master at tournaments at all levels for 18 years. The media loves her because she never gets flustered, is always upbeat and delivers clear and accurate results in a timely fashion.