United World Wrestling unites Indian Ocean with first regional development tournament

By United World Wrestling Press

PORT LUIS, Mauritius (May 2) --- The UWW Development Department conducted the first-ever Regional Educational Development Tournament (REDT) in the Indian Ocean. This event was hosted in collaboration with the Mauritius Wrestling Federation. The REDT is a regional course and tournament centered around training and educating the coaches and referees. At the conclusion of the courses, there was a scheduled tournament to provide opportunities for countries in the region to compete in an international competition.

The Development Week in Mauritius was conducted from April 16-25. This event included participants from Mauritius (Mauritius and Rodrigues), Madagascar and Comoros. 

From April 17-21, a Level 1 and 2 Coaching Course was conducted by Vincent Aka and Frederic Rubio.  This course worked with 19 coaches and focused on how to coach for Level 1 and on the development of practice plans according to level 2.  The coaching course ended with the topic “Wrestling and motors preference” introduced by Frederic Rubio.  This was the place to explain and demonstrate a series of tests to be done by the young wrestlers and coaches.

From April 21-23, Charles Villet piloted a non-certification referee course focused on the introduction to refereeing. The course start with both the referees and coaches working directly together. During this course, 19 coaches and referees took part in the coaching. The goal was to improve their skills and knowledge as a referee and to better understand each other and work together. Both groups built strong values together during the course and finally adopt the slogan "Indian Ocean unit."

Paricipants from Mauritius and Rodrigues, Madagascar and Comoros gather during the Development Week in Mauritius from April 16-25.

This program has contributed to upgrading the coach's and referee’s skills and methods of teaching to ensure that competitors are at the standard requirement and well prepared to compete on the international level to bring better results and to be familiar with the rules and regulations of UWW to avoid losing marks unnecessarily. This program has also been an advantage to create new coaches and referees to support the Federation to set up additional wrestling schools, particularly in remote areas where wrestling is not accessible to increase the number of wrestlers in our countries.

Concerning Mauritius, "This program was great support for the preparation of our athletes for Birmingham 2022 and the Indian Ocean Island Games in 2023 at Madagascar” said Mr. Richard PAPI, President of Mauritius Wrestling federation. The events were covered by the local newspapers, radios, national TV and social media. This has touched the public at large. It has had a positive effect on our discipline to obtain visibility since the end of the program people have started to contact the federation gathering information about wrestling and some are interested in joining the training team, awesome."

"This program has really proven to be very efficient as one of the first of its kind. It's a grassroots program that will contribute to providing opportunities to further develop wrestling based on the needs and realities of all our National Federations," said Mrs. Deqa Niamkey, United world wrestling Development Director. "It also allows the participants to play different roles and understand the aspects of delivering a wrestling competition and covering all the aspects required to make a successful sporting event."

To conclude, the Regional Educational Development Tournament ended with a regional competition with sportsmanship and goodwill. The emotional part of the event is that the participants have created a slogan that is " Unité Océan Indien" which was adopted unanimously.

Overall, this was a great step in hosting and developing the Regional Educational Development Tournaments in the Indian Ocean.  For more information on REDT events in the future, visit the UWW website.


Turkey hosts first UWW women's referee course

By United World Wrestling Press

ANTALYA, Turkey (May 14) --- On May 11, 2022 in beautiful Antalya Turkey, a precedent was set for all UWW Women referees. For the 1st time in United World Wrestling history, HIS-story became HER-story.  Women from 16 different countries have come together with 1 goal in mind; the advancement and recognition of Women officials within this heralded organization.

The Women's Referee Course, which consisted of two courses and three competition days, was preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, and the 2024 & 2028 Olympic Games. 28 women referees from around the world were selected to participate in this first-of-its-kind educational program. 

On the first day of the course, UWW Bureau member Lucio CANEVA attended the opening ceremony and spoke to attendance. He thanked the referees for their support. He also explained why women referees are important for wrestling and all bureau members support this program.

Instructors Antonio SILVESTRI, Ibrahim CICIOGLU and Edit DOZSA collectively contributed to ensuring a successful platform for each woman that took part. Their combined knowledge only helped to propel the confidence of all the participants whether it was about rules or team-building activities and exercises. 

Dozsa, a pioneer of women's refereeing, was fully aware and empathic of the unique struggles women face in a male-dominated sport. Having been selected for the 2008 Olympic Games, Dozsa was able to bring the women together and give them an open forum to voice their individual experiences and struggles, without contradiction or judgments. The idea was for the women to learn how to empower one another. She provided tools and support that have enabled the women to grow and learn with each other over the years.

Participants from Turkey's women's wrestling course join together for a photo. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

The group at the course was experienced and talented. While some referees had wrestled, others were carrying the family torch. Regardless of experience, each member agreed that wrestling is in their blood and has forever changed their lives, for the better.

"Being a female official has many obstacles and nothing is easy about this job," Dozsa said. "We continue to sacrifice to be a part of this wrestling culture we all love so much. This course has given us renewed hope and an optimistic outlook for the future of women referees all over the world. We came in as 28 individuals and left as 1 empowered sisterhood."

The first two days of the course were dedicated to the theoretical aspect of refereeing and important rules were discussed and explained by instructors. A practice session was organized on the second day. All the questions of the attendees were answered by the instructors who also showed critical situations like referee mechanism, out of bounds situations, takedown and control, illegal wrestling and fouls.

During the last three days of the course, referees attended the International Champions tournament for the age group in all styles. They had a chance to officiate throughout the competition in both styles which was an experience for them as well.

The course was the first step for the women referees toward their Olympic hopes. The instructors thanked UWW president Nenad LALOVIC and all the bureau members for their support. They also expressed their gratitude toward the Sports and Development Departments for their collaboration and the Turkish Wrestling Federation for their attributions.