Tina and Kristopher Davies know all about autism – they have three autistic children, and their training academy Full Tilt Wrestling has around 10 autistic members.

So when they decided to hold their first charity fundraiser, they knew they wanted the North East Autism Society to benefit.

Their retro event – Full Tilt Wrestling goes back to the 80s – was a smash, attracting 230 people to the Jubilee Club in Walker and raising more than £500 for the charity. 

Tina, 45, says: “I have eight children, and three of them are autistic – my 22-year-old daughter Kaitlyn, and my two little boys Preston and Theo aged four and five. So it means a lot to us.

“We have run Full Tilt Wrestling academy for 10 years and the doors have always been open to anyone and everyone. We think that everybody should be given a chance.”

The academy, based in Benfield, Newcastle, has 13 boys and girls in its junior section, six of whom are autistic, and up to four autistic adults among its senior section.

“Everyone gets on with each other and there is zero tolerance of bullying, so it’s a safe space,” Tina says. “Great friendships are formed and people are happy to be around others who understand them.”

Their Back to the 80s show featured some eye-catching matches as well as a surprise appearance by the club’s first ever women’s section.

“Some of us women – myself, another mum, an auntie and a daughter - trained in secret to be part of the show,” Tina says.

“We called ourselves the WMDS – Wives, Mothers, Daughters Squad – and we absolutely loved it. We’ve decided we’ll carry on.”

You can find out more about the Full Tilt Wrestling training academy on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Fulltiltwrestling

Interested in fundraising for us? See our events