BOLTON will this week welcome the country's top wrestlers when the British Senior and Junior Championships take place at Smithills Sports Centre.

Matches are due to take place from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, with 220 wrestlers taking part in more than 200 bouts throughout the day.

Entry for the day is just £2 for spectators, who will see medals decided across a range of different weights in each age group – from under-nines up to senior.

Harwood's George Ramm, who was part of the England team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, will be going all out to add the British senior title to his growing medal haul.

The championships will also feature some of the brightest talents from the town's three wrestling clubs – Bolton Olympic, Sharples and Castle Hill – which are hosting the event jointly with Bolton Council and the University of Bolton.

Cllr John Byrne, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “We’re very much looking forward to hosting the British Championships.

"The Wrestling Development Group in Bolton had to pitch against other northern groups to host the event and it is likely to attract competitors from all over the country, including the Republic of Ireland.

“In recent years we have worked closely and successfully with British Wrestling to host a number of events, including the English Junior and Senior Championships.

“With three popular wrestling clubs in Bolton, we are nurturing some real talent in the borough and it will be interesting to see how our local young men and women perform on the day.”

As well as being the pinnacle of the sport in Great Britain, this year's championships will also double up as the first qualifying event for senior wrestlers hoping to make the England team for the next Commonwealth Games, which are in Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018.

Eddy Kavanagh, who runs Sharples Wrestling Club, will be keeping a keen eye on proceedings as manager of the England team at the Games.

He hopes the championships will help inspire more people in the town to get involved in the sport.

"Bolton is a hotbed of wrestling in this country so it is fantastic to get the chance to host these championships.

"It is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase the sport to people in the town.

"Wrestling can be an incredibly exciting spectator sport and you never know, our next Olympic prospect could be inspired by what they see in the audience on Saturday."