Okanagan pro wrestlers to battle it out . . . for basketball?

Pro wrestlers smash and slam in Kelowna to fundraise for college basketball
WATCH ABOVE: Community reporter Shay Galor gets a wrestling lesson from Mad Dog Marty Sugar and Jayce D’Arcy in anticipation of Invasion Championship Wrestling’s Coyote Ugly fundraiser in support of Kelowna College Basketball Society.

Mad Dog Marty Sugar is just one of several pro wrestlers ready to smash and slam opponents for the championship belt this Friday in Kelowna.

Invasion Championship Wrestling, hailed as the Okanagan’s most unique fundraiser, is hosting an action-packed evening at Rutland Centennial Hall to raise funds for college basketball.

The Kelowna College Basketball Society is a non-profit organizer made up of volunteers, some working 60 hours a week, to support young men and women with a dream of playing college basketball.

READ MORE: Okanagan College basketball season in final stretch

The sport is not funded by Okanagan College and requires about $130,000 a year to help keep 40 athletes competing.

Dino Gini, president of the Kelowna College Basketball Society, said Okanagan College used to have a funded program. In fact, all the other colleges that the team competes against are fully backed by the school.

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“I don’t think they thought we were going to grow this fast and this professionally,” Gini said. “Our goal is to continue to build this, get community support and eventually get some funding through the college.”

Mike Chisholm, co-founder of Invasion Championship Wrestling, says he has never had a charity approach him to host a fundraiser, one that is fully prepared to do the work of selling tickets and promoting the event.

“Normally we have Invasion shows twice a year,” Chisholm said. “But this is the first time a charity has come to us and said ‘Hey, would you put on a show for us?’ And then stepped forward and said ‘We’ll do all the work, we’ll sell the tickets’. We’re just delighted that they thought enough of our brand.”

READ MORE: Okanagan College basketball kicks off inaugural season

The event, called Coyote Ugly, takes place September 14th at 7:30 p.m.

It features WWE legend Rikishi, who is Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson’s brother, as well as other professional wrestlers from the Okanagan and beyond.

Tickets are $15 or four for $50. There is also an opportunity to meet the wrestlers with the purchase of a V.I.P. pass.

Funds raised will go towards the Okanagan College Coyote men’s and women’s basketball teams.

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