First-ever coaching and refereeing courses held in Iraq

By United World Wrestling Press

Baghdad, Iraq (10 February) – The Iraqi Wrestling Federation hosted their first-ever education courses for coaches and referees.  These courses were conducted between 23-29 January in Baghdad, Iraq.  These courses were conducted in conjunction with UWW, Olympic Solidarity, Iraqi NOC and the Iraqi Wrestling Federation.  The coaching course was led by Mr. Ahmed KHEDHRI (TUN).  The referee course was led by Mr. Kamel BOUAZIZ (TUN), the Vice-President of the UWW Referee Commission and President of Arab Wrestling Federation.

The technical course for coaches was conducted from 23-28 January.  Over 50 coach participants attended and participated in this Level 1 Course (Introduction to Coaching and Safety).  The following topics were covered throughout the course:  discovery games, introducing a new technique, coaching skills, giving feedback, risk management, age and developmental stage characteristics.  During the course, the coaches actively practiced and developed their skills through practical evaluations.  The participants also had a session on first aid that was given by Dr. Ahmed Al-Tamimi.  Overall, the coaches gained important knowledge and skills to help them improve in their role as a coach.  “A magnificent and active group, all were actively coaching within clubs and national teams. They demonstrated the necessary seriousness and had a strong desire to learn. They were completely disciplined and respectful, and they have a strong desire to boost their knowledge.” Said Mr. Khedhri. 

UWW1Attendees go ask questions about practial wrestling situations to Mr. Kamel Bouaziz. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

The Introduction to Refereeing Course was conducted from 23-25 January.  This course was led by Mr. Kamel Bouaziz and had 17 participants which included 7 women.  The participants learned the foundations of what it takes to be a great referee.  The areas covered during the course included:  safety of the athletes, evaluation of holds, referee mechanics, positioning, and controlling the bout.  The participants were active during the course and were able to practice their skills through practical evaluations.  “This course was successful from all points of view.  This was the first time in the history of Iraqi wrestling that they had an educator or lecturer from the international wrestling federation.  All of the participants worked hard and improved throughout the week.”  Said Mr. Bouaziz.

 UWWParticipants from the education courses for coaches and referees pose for a photo with their diplomas. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

At the conclusion of the courses, the Iraqi Wrestling Federation organized a competition.  The competition had over 40 participants and they competed in 60 matches.  The competition allowed the coaches and referees to directly practice the new skills that they learned.

“There was a remarkable interest and continuous follow-up by the Iraqi Wrestling Federation.  They are making a great effort to develop wrestling in their country.”  Said Mr. Khedhri


Wrestling is back in force in Thailand

By United World Wrestling Press

CHIANG MAI, Thailand (March 27) --- Following the visit by Ms. Deqa NIAMKEY, Director of the Development Department, President Nenad LALOVIC commissioned the return of wrestling to Thailand both nationally and internationally. The answer came from the Thai National Olympic Committee, which made it possible to revive wrestling. 

The Thai National Olympic Committee allowed the organization of an Olympic Solidarity course in collaboration with United World Wrestling to jointly deliver a UWW Level 1 Coaching, Training and Introduction to Refereeing course.

Thirty participants, including coaches, referees and seven federal staff members, were present for this training. Mr. VUISIT TANGVARITHRON, President of the Thai Wrestling Association, also made the trip to the city of the Lanna Empire, Chiangmai.

refReferees work together during the Introduction to Refereeing course. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

For this revival of wrestling in Thailand, United World Wrestling sent three trainers: Vincent AKA, UWW development officer, Ashok KUMAR, UWW educator, and Komeil GHASEMI, Olympic champion. 

The opening ceremony welcomed the presence of Mr. PREM Vathabunditkul, Vice-president of the Thai Wrestling Association. He set the scene by emphasizing the Association's objective to train new coaches and referees. 

Mr. Narin Sangsrichan, Vice-president of University Sports in Thailand, set the course by saying, "Chiang Mai Sports University and the Thai Wrestling Association, let's house this camp for you and welcome new coaches to achieve national excellence."

The Thai wrestling Association requested Level II training. However, given the level of the participants, it was agreed to start with a Level I course to establish a solid foundation in terms of technical and pedagogical skills for these coaches. However, a Level II course will be organized in 2023 with the same participants. 

VincentVincent AKA presents development programs to the Thai Wrestling Association. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Vincent Aka took the opportunity to present to the President of the Thai Wrestling Association all of United World Wrestling's development programs. He also gave the Olympic Solidarity programs accessible to National Federations through their National Olympic Committees.

The President of the Thai Wrestling Association was very satisfied with this course and is already looking to the future by thinking of two programs that can help develop the Thai Wrestling Association. 

Mr. Pattaya Charlie, a member of the Association, reinforced the general satisfaction. During the closing ceremony, he said, "In the name of Chiang Mai Sports University, we would like to thank United World Wrestling for sending us a talented team of educators. On this occasion, we learned new techniques, the evolution of the rules, and new teaching methods based on the fundamentals of wrestling to train our new coaches and referees."

Speaking of his contribution to the success of this camp, Komeil Ghasemi noted his pride and enthusiasm to bring his stone to the wrestling family. "I am thrilled to share my experience and my expertise with all the participants. UWW remains committed to its affiliated members and is always concerned for their development and is committed to working with all the partners concerned towards this objective of sustainable development while keeping the course of the 2022-2026 strategy."