SCANTILY clad wrestlers stepped into the ring at a rural primary school to raise money for its PTA.

Cake sales and summer fetes spring to mind when thinking about school fundraisers, but Chilton Primary School defied tradition last week with a night of professional wrestling.

The primary school near Didcot raised almost £600 by hosting the sell-out event, which was organised by James Mason as part of the touring group Welsh Wrestling.

Chilton resident Mr Mason, who was among the wrestlers who took part, said: "The show went so well.

"We had people who are a big deal in the wrestling world, who go all over the world. Some have done stuff for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

"We normally do big theatres and leisure centres, but I got my friends to do this as a favour to do something a bit different."

Mr Mason's seven-year-old son Frankie and five-year-old daughter Darlene attend the school, which teaches about 250 pupils.


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Wrestlers included Oliver Grey, a former tag team champion of the television show WWE NXT, Iestyn Rees, who stars in ITV's World of Sport Wrestling, and Lewis Howley, who has previously appeared on the hit Channel 4 dating show First Dates.


Mr Mason said there is still a lot of misunderstanding about the sport, and acknowledged this meant some people would not consider it suitable for a school.

He said: "We are trying to get over the fact that people still associate wrestling with violence.

"There is a side of wrestling that's a lot more hardcore but we are completely against that.

"All that we are is pure family-friendly entertainment - modern day pantomime."

The fundraiser made its debut last year but was only open to pupils, teachers and their families, and this time was advertised to others.

Mr Mason said about 100 people from the school attended, as well as 60 or 70 people from the wider community.

Wrestling took place in the main school hall, and he said teachers and children were impressed by the venue's makeover.

He said: "It was transformed into an arena. The kids walked in and said it was like something they'd seen on TV."


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The night was such a success that Mr Mason said he hoped it would return again next year.

Francesca Bauer, chairwoman of the school's PTA, said: "This event was a fantastic night and really proved to be popular for the school.

"This is the second time that James has brought the superstars of Welsh wrestling to the school, and like the last time, it was a sold-out success."

She revealed that the night raised more than £580 in ticket and food sales, which she described as an 'amazing amount' to support the PTA's projects.

The chairwoman added: "The best part is how much fun the children – and adults – had on the night, cheering on their favourites and booing the baddies.

"The wrestlers are amazing athletes and they really got the crowd going."

Chilton Primary School was praised by Ofsted inspectors in February, when pupils were said to 'fizz with enthusiasm' and demonstrate 'outstanding' behaviour.