Stephanie Mould will represent Canada in a top cadet tournament in Japan next month. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Stephanie Mould will represent Canada in a top cadet tournament in Japan next month. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan wrestler Stephanie Mould jetting to Japan

CVWC star will compete for Canada in Saori Cup

Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club star Stephanie Mould is headed overseas next month to represent Canada at a top youth tournament.

Mould will compete at the Saori Cup in Tsu, Japan on Nov. 3-4, where she hopes to pick up tips from some of the best female wrestlers in the world.

“I’m pretty excited,” she said. “In every weight class in the world, Japanese women are in first place, so I will get to train with the best. I’m hoping to go there and find out what they do, and see the different training styles.”

Japanese wrestlers start young, said Mould, who herself got into the sport six years ago as a 10-year-old in Grade 6 at Queen of Angels School. She is now in Grade 12 at Cowichan Secondary.

Wrestlers had to place in the top three at nationals in the cadet or juvenile divisions, or have high standings at provincials, to qualify for Canada’s Saori Cup team. Mould checked both boxes by finishing third in her weight class in cadet nationals last year, and second in the provincial championships.

The Canadian team of eight cadet girls and a group of school-age male wrestlers will fly to Japan on Oct. 31. They’ll spend just three days in Japan before flying back.

“I’m a little nervous about the time difference,” Mould admitted. “But I think it will be worth it.”

Mould has has wrestled at meets in the U.S., but never outside North America. Her only experience overseas was a trip to Europe with her family when she was five.

“This is the first time I get to remember it,” she noted.

There won’t be much time for sightseeing this time, however, as the Canadians will probably spend most of their lone non-competition day shaking off any jetlag.

“We have one day where there’s nothing scheduled,” Mould said. “But that’s right after we fly.”

Mould plans to take things one match at a time at the tournament.

“Last year, no Canadians won a match, so I’m hoping to score,” she said. “It would be great to win my first match, but mostly I’m going for the experience.”