Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holds series of UWW activities

By United World Wrestling Press

MAKKAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (4 March, 2023)  - A series of UWW activities were organized in Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from February 26 to 02 March, 2023 prior to the 2023 U17-U23 Arab Championships. The activities included an Introduction to Refereeing Course, a Coaching Course Level 2, and a Training Camp for Athletes. A total of 94 participants, including athletes, coaches and referees took part in the events. The educators were Ibrahim Ciciouglu (TUR), Hadi Hasan Ismael (IRQ), Juan Luis Maren Delis (CUB), Ahmed Khedhri (TUN), Hassan Madany (EGY) and Sherif Halawa (EGY).

These courses were held with the support of the Olympic Solidarity, Saudi Olympic Committee, United World Wrestling and Saudi Wrestling Federation. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the UWW Development Team and Saudi Wrestling Federation for their outstanding work in organizing the Olympic Solidarity Courses," said Kamel Bouaziz, President of the Arab Wrestling Federation and Vice-President of UWW Refereeing Commission. "The success of these activities has been crucial to the development of wrestling in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I commend the educators who have worked tirelessly to provide the participants with a world-class education. We look forward to continued collaboration with the Development Department in the future, as we work together to advance the sport of wrestling in KSA and across the region."

RefParticipants for the Introduction to Refereeing Course pose for a photo after the competition of the course.(Photo: United World Wrestling)

Introduction to Refereeing Course, 26-28 February 2023
The course was conducted by UWW Educators Ibrahim Ciciouglu (TUR) and Hadi Hasan Ismael (IRQ) and was designed to introduce participants to the fundamentals of refereeing in wrestling. The course covered the rules and regulations of wrestling, scoring and timing, and the role of referees in maintaining fairness and safety in the sport. They also studied evaluation of holds, referee mechanics, the start and end of matches, and referee positioning during the bout. The course was attended by 14 participants who participated in both theoretical and practical sessions on the mat. “One of the nice things about the course was that participants were very eager to learn. Interactive participation was at a high level for both theoretical and the practical parts. The questions they asked and their willingness to participate actively made the course very productive. They were trying to add to the improvement of wrestling in their country with their efforts in refereeing,” said UWW Educator Mr. Ibrahim Cicioglu.

CoachA group of coaches work together to plan a practice during the Level 2 Coaching Course. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Coaching Course Level 2, 26 February – 02 March 2023
The coaching course was conducted by Juan Maren (CUB) and Ahmed Khedhri (TUN). The Level 2 Course focused on the Introduction to Practice Planning. The coach participants worked together in groups and individually to learn many aspects of practice planning. These included: how to plan practices for the week, determine the number of practice and the appropriate time for each age group, determine the type and number of training days, determine the objectives, and how to determine the drills for each practice. The course was attended by 44 coaches from different parts of Saudi Arabia. “ I wanted to emphasize the importance of practice planning. Throughout the course, we encouraged participants to engage in reflective learning methods and emphasized the value of teamwork to help them develop practical skills while receiving feedback. The course included both theory sessions and practical sessions on the mat, where participants learned Long-Term Athlete Development, technical performance analysis, risk management strategies, strength and conditioning planning, weight management, nutrition, athlete mindset, athlete safety, athlete safeguarding, anti-doping, and environmental impact. Overall, I believe that the course was highly informative and provided participants with a comprehensive understanding of coaching principles,” – said UWW Educator Ahmed Khedhri (TUN).

KSATwo athletes spar during the four-day training camp in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Training Camp for Athletes
The Training Camp for Athletes was also held from February 26 to March 2, 2023. Training sessions were also led by UWW Educators Juan Maren (CUB), Ahmed Khedhri (TUN), with assistance of Hassan Madany (EGY). The camp covered technique, conditioning, and mental preparation. The camp was attended by 36 athletes. “Throughout the camp, we focused on developing the fundamentals of wrestling, including technique, strength, and conditioning. We also emphasized the importance of mental toughness, discipline, and sportsmanship, " said UWW Educator Juan Maren (CUB). "As a coach, I have a strong passion for the development and growth of wrestling in KSA, and I am excited to see the progress that these athletes will continue to make in the future.”

Words of participants
“Introduction to refereeing course was very useful for me. This course provides us with an overview of the wrestling rules, scoring system, and basic officiating techniques. Also we have learned referee mechanics, the start and end of the match, as well as respect and cooperation. I’m grateful for this opportunity to become an international referee,” – said Salem Mohammed Salem. 

“A distinguished course through which I was able to deepen my knowledge and acquire new knowledge and skills, theoretically and practically, in a pleasant atmosphere and teamwork. Thanks for Saudi Wrestling Federation and UWW for  giving this opportunity, and I hope for future participation in such courses,” - Magdy Rashad, Saudi national team coach.

“It was a good camp before the competition. The focus of the course was on the technical and tactical performance of each athlete.  This was done by training that was suitable for the pre-competition stage. Athletes also benefited from the presence of the Cuban coach Juan Maren.  I would like to thank United World Wrestling and Saudi wrestling federation,” – said U17 Saudi team athlete Manaf Mohamed Briek Elrashidy.


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."