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Wrestling family’s elder sibling pins a U.S. scholarship

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Troy Shantz

When a wrestling match breaks out between siblings in most home the parents intervene. Not at the Allen household.

“We even have a wrestling mat in our basement,” said father Tim Allen. “We just stay upstairs and shut the door.”

The Allen name has become synonymous with wrestling in Sarnia. At Great Lakes Secondary School the team roster boasts Tali in Grade 12, Silas in Grade 11, and twin girls Shailah and Taijah in Grade 9.

Tali was the first to get involved when she joined the Sarnia Bluewater Wrestling Club about nine years ago. Soon, all of the children were participating and wrestling tournaments became regular family outings.

“The thing I loved about wrestling, as the kids were growing up, is that it was all at the same place at the same time,” Tim Allen said.

“So as a family event, it was awesome!”

Dad didn’t have a background in wrestling, but as the kids became interested he followed suit and learned the sport along with them. Eventually, he earned his coaching certification and now works with the Great Lakes wrestling team.

Come next fall, the Allen family and the Great Lakes squad will be minus a member: Tali Allen has signed a scholarship offer to attend Emmanuel College in Georgia.

When she learned this summer Emmanuel was looking to grow its wrestling team she sent the coach a highlight video. The family was invited to tour the college and within days of returning Tali had an offer covering 90% of her tuition. She was thrilled.

“I was very humbled by how much they offered me. It was just such a great opportunity,” she said.

Tali will move to Georgia next summer, but before that there’s still a long season ahead.

“This year is mainly focusing on conditioning and technique. I want to place high in tournaments, but my main focus is safety. I want to stay safe this year. I don’t want to get hurt so I can be the best I can be at college,” she said.

The scholarship could grow if Tali performs well at Emmanuel, and she hasn’t ruled out further wrestling pursuits after graduation.

“Long-term goal would be Olympics, and I’ll keep working towards that.”

Her father would love to see all of the children find success in wrestling.

“What we keep stressing is the character. It’s how you win and how you lose. It’s your character throughout the whole process,” he said.

“It’s not about winning, it’s about improving yourself.”

The Allen siblings, from left, Tijah, Silas, Tali and Taijah Allen. Troy Shantz
The Allen siblings, from left, Tijah, Silas, Tali and Taijah Allen.
Troy Shantz



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