The LVS Ascot sports hall was transformed in to a wrestling arena on Thursday night as Senior Master of Junior School Mr Dennis swapped his suit and tie for lycra to step in to the ring to wrestle for Sport Relief. Amongst the crowd was 1970s wrestling legend Steve Veidor, who has been in the ring himself with Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks and whose granddaughters at LVS Ascot’s junior and senior schools were also there to show their support.
The unusual fundraiser captured the imagination of pupils and parents at the leading independent all-ability school as a crowd of over 400 cheered Ed Dennis on as he defeated ‘Dynamite’ Pete Dunne, raising £2,500 for Sport Relief in scenes that were echoed the following night in the Olympic Park when Paddy McGuinness took on McFly’s Harry Judd in a slightly more genteel wrestling match up.
Ed Dennis met with Steve Veidor afterwards, with Steve praising the show as “excellent, really professional and Ed was very good. He would not have looked out of place on World of Sport and the crowd really responded. It is brilliant that the school did something so different to entertain and raise money for Sport Relief”.
Four other thrilling matches took place in front of a capacity crowd featuring wrestlers from all over Britain, before the LVS Ascot community got what they really wanted – the entrance of Mr Dennis to wild applause whose bruising 20-minute bout ended in victory, sparking jubilant celebrations amongst a significant proportion of the school’s 970 pupils.
The show was thoroughly enjoyed by many of the school’s families, such as parents Fred and Liesl and their children Holly and Shaun who have both been taught by Mr Dennis. Liesl said: “The kids associate so well with Mr Dennis, and Holly always has a big grin on her face when she arrives at school and he opens the door”. Fred added: “Mr Dennis is an amazing person who commands such respect and engages with pupils even without this – it is amazing that he can do this as well. We are really impressed”.
Ed Dennis said: “The evening was a roaring success and has created a real buzz through the whole school all week. LVS Ascot’s teachers always seek to inspire pupils in innovative ways, and teach them to reach for the stars. I wanted to be a wrestler when I was little and I’ve shown my pupils that dreams can come true. We have also raised a lot of money for Sport Relief whilst having fun, and increased awareness of this really worthy cause too – after tonight everyone will be talking about Sport Relief tomorrow!”