Bulgaria hosts Grappling referee educator course

By United World Wrestling Press

Sofia, Bulgaria (August 22) – United World Wrestling hosted the first-ever Grappling Referee Educator Course in Sofia, Bulgaria.  The course was held from 12-16 August at the Ramada Hotel in Sofia.  The course was conducted prior to the start of the U20 World Championships which was hosted by the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation.

The course was attended by 5 expert Grappling referees.  They included Mr. Vito PAOLILLO (ITA), Mr. Richard TADO (USA), Mr. Hrant KOTANJYAN (ARM), Mr. Akim ABDRAKHMANOV (KAZ), and Mr. Gary BIRD (CAN).  At the course, they learned various techniques and adult learning principles to help deliver more effective courses.  The educators were able to practice and improve those skills directly during the course.  “The Educator course was an outstanding experience of Learning. It totally changed my view on how you should run a course to make the participants interested and engaged in the topics.  It worked well because being a student in this you see in real time how this new method is working on you during the course and how Zach manage to keep you always active and never bored during the 3 days.” said Vito PAOLILLO. “The UWW Educator Course this week in Sofia, Bulgaria was an amazing experience. Not only from a student’s perspective but it also excelled from educators’ point of view. Our instructor, Zach Errett brought a plethora of knowledge to the course and instructed our class with the highest level of today’s information and respect.” said Richard TADO. “The skills that I got on how to conduct my future courses was important knowledge on how to make people interested and engaged in session.” said Hrant KOTANJYAN.

TextParticipants from the first-ever Grappling Referee Educator Course gather for a photo. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

This educator course was conducted on the first 3 days and was led by Zach Errett, UWW Education Manager. “I was very impressed with this group.  They were very open and willing to learn new skills to help them as educators.  It was amazing watching them improve each session and apply the principles that were taught during the course.  I see great things in the future for the Grappling referees.”  Said Zach Errett.

After the educator course completed, the Grappling Referee Educators stayed for 2 additional days to develop materials for their upcoming courses.  They were able to discuss best practices and the content that should be covered.  This group also had the opportunity to attend part of the U20 World Championships.  While there, they observed how the Olympic styles referees work at the competition.  This provided a chance to look for ways to improve the referees in Grappling.  “I appreciate the continued support from UWW and I’m looking forward to working with all the UWW Federations as we all grow the sport of UWW Grappling across the world.” said Richard Tado.


Lithuania organizes course to develop FS/WW coaches

By United World Wrestling Press

SIAULIAI, Lithuania  (November 21) – The Lithuanian Wrestling Federation, in partnership with the Lithuania Olympic Committee, are working to grow and develop Freestyle and Women Wrestling in their country.  After a long success in Greco-Roman, the LTU Federation wanted to begin to develop the other Olympic styles. As a result, they organized a Level 2 coaching course from 7-11 November 2022 with the emphasis of developing and training their current FS/WW coaches. This course was conducted in conjunction with Olympic Solidarity and United World Wrestling. 

The Level 2 Coaching course was conducted by Mr. Yusup ABDUSALAMOV (POL) – UWW Coach Educator and former Olympic silver medalist. The course had 25 participants (17 men and 8 women). “Here I saw educated, interested and very diligent coaches," said Mr. Abdusalamov. "They managed very well with all the tasks that were set before them and found unconventional, non-standard and creative approaches to solving them.”

The coach participants focused on many topics surrounding the idea of developing training sessions for wrestlers. Some of the topics included coaching the basic skills or wrestling, introduction to performance analysis, theoretical framework to planning, practice plan essentials, strength and conditioning, and nutrition and weight management. During the course, the coaches participated in practical assessments to demonstrate their knowledge.

"I have to say that we are very satisfied with how the course went. We had different expectations from the upcoming training, but we were all pleasantly surprised by the level of positivity in the learning, the number of creative tasks, the fullness of the practical sessions, the amount of imagination and thinking that this process required from us." said Sergejus Kasimovas (Head Coach of LTU National Freestyle Team). "It was a very useful and interesting experience for all of us. I am very grateful to our Wrestling Federation for organizing this course, and to UWW and the Olympic Solidarity Foundation for supporting and funding this event. We look forward to similar events in the future.”

LTHParticipants go through on-the-mat training during the course in Lithuania. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

“The seminar went exactly according to plan. It was very informative and useful for every coach and athlete. Theoretical knowledge was precisely applied in practice. Every lecture we learned new things about coaching and training planning," said Giedre Darge (WW Coach). "Trainers share their personal experiences with each other’s. Students in the course were involved in the discussions, as a result they could express their opinions. The lecturer was very competent and perfectly able to share his knowledge. A lot of attention was made to team building, which is very important for achieving a best result. Every participant after seminar were satisfied that they learned new things.” 

“I have to say that the course went very well with a high level of feedback, enthusiasm on both sides, great effort and commitment on the part of the participants." said Mr. Abdusalamov. "The organization of the course was at a good level. I would like to thank the board and staff of the Lithuanian Wrestling Federation, represented by President Giedrius Dambrauskas, and Siauliai Sports Gymnasium for the support in organizing the course."