UWW development reaches beyond borders in landmark year

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (December 22) -- A programme that provides more opportunities for women to progress into leadership roles, courses designed to educate coaches and referees, opening the doors to world-class training facilities to wrestlers from across the globe by partnering with INSEP keeping in mind the Paris Olympics, a multitude of anti-doping initiatives and restarting the refugee camp projects.

As 2022 draws to a close, the United World Wrestling looks back at a series of initiatives undertaken all through the years with an aim to consolidate the present and leap into a better tomorrow. These programmes ranged from humanitarian to technical, governance to education.

One of the highlights of the year is the re-starting of the refugee camp project in Jordan. As a part of the International Olympic Committee’s Refugee Athletes’ promotion since the Rio 2016 Olympics, UWW President Nenad LALOVIC decided to promote wrestling in United Nations refugee camps across the world. The Refugee Camp in Jordan is in continuation of this programme.

MedalsMore Than Medals camp in Rome. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

The UWW closely collaborated with all the organisations involved in the development of sport, especially the Olympic Solidarity and the IOC. The UWW delivered technical courses in 19 countries and financially supported national competitions attached to the course. Technical support was also provided to host the continental as well as the senior world championships this year along with training camps for the U17 wrestlers.

Another successful programme of the UWW Development Department was holding the Regional Educational Development Tournament (REDT). The regional course and tournament centred on training and educating the coaches and referees were held in Mauritius – marking the first time the REDT was held in the Indian Ocean – followed by Vietnam and Cambodia. This program has contributed to upgrading the teaching skills of coaches and referees.

BudapestParticipants during coaching course in Budapest. (Photo: United World Wrestling / Martin Gabor)

With the support of Olympic Solidarity, the first-ever high-performance regional coaching course was also held in Budapest, Hungary. The participation of 32 coaches from seven countries in this course was a major milestone, more so as it was held at one of the powerhouses of world wrestling. A Technical Course for Coaches Level 1 combined with the Introduction to Refereeing course will also be held in Palestine in December.

The UWW also donated mats and training equipment to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Albania, Australia, Jordan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Laying emphasis on education to prevent doping, the UWW held anti-doping education drives during the Senior World Championships as well as in collaboration with National Federations. The wrestlers were also educated about the consequences of doping, the testing protocols, the risks associated with nutritional supplements and therapeutic use exemptions.

Safeguarding the athletes and ensuring safe sport has been set as one of the key areas the UWW will invest in starting this Olympic cycle in order to have a healthy sporting environment for the athletes.

Keeping athletes at the heart, the UWW also continued to jointly collaborate with the Olympic Council of Asia and the Panam Sports which contributed to reinforcing the organisation’s professionalism and sharing the experience.

womenWomen Referee course held in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

This was also an important year in the steps taken in educating the coaches and referees.

Nearly 50 UWW Coach/Referee educators were certified through two courses that were held in Guatemala and Turkey. In addition to Olympic Solidarity courses, the educators held nine National Coach Courses and Introduction to Referee Courses, which were funded by National Federations or partially funded by the UWW.

The first-ever High-Performance Regional Course in Budapest, Hungary, was another landmark moment apart from the three new online courses that were introduced: Rules Modifications for 2022, Evaluation of Takedown and Control, Understanding and Developing the Whole Wrestler.

Other than these, additional coaching programmes were also created which allowed the UWW to have five different levels to the modules:

Level 1 – Introduction to Coaching and Safety
Level 2 – Introduction to Practice Planning
Level 3 – Periodization and Coaching Philosophy
Level 4 – Athlete and Programme Development
Level 5 – High-Performance Course

WISHCoahes who are selected for the WISH Program. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

For promoting the participation of women in the sport, the UWW supported six women coaches in the Women in Sport High-Performance (WISH) programme. Six current and/or future coaches were selected for the 21-month programme, which has been developed in coordination with a team of specialists at the UK-based University of Hertfordshire. The programme aims to help women coaches, who have the potential and ambition, to progress into high-performance coaching roles at national and international levels. This is the largest number of participants the UWW has supported in this programme.

Under the Referee Scholarship Programme, the UWW sponsored more referees than ever before. Fourteen referees were provided both the flight and accommodation for a promotion event while there were seven additional referees who were provided accommodations at the event. This is a record participation number for this programme.


Cambodia hosts educational activities in lead up to Southeast Asian Championships

By United World Wrestling Press

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (December 20) -- In a move to strengthen wrestling in Southeast Asia, United World Wrestling (UWW) organized a series of educational activities in Phnom Penh, December 8-15 before the 2022 Southeast Asian Championships.

These activities included: a Training Camp, a Level 1 Coaches Course, an Introduction to Refereeing Course, Level 1 UWW Referee Course (obtain category III referee license), and a UWW Event Organization – IT course.

A total of 80 participants including athletes, coaches, referees and IT specialists took part in the events. The educators were Zach Errett (USA), Igor Ligay (KAZ), Vincent Aka (CIV/FRA) and Youssef Bouaziz (TUN). 

These courses were held with the support of the Olympic Solidarity, the Cambodia Olympic Committee and the Cambodian Wrestling Federation. “The 2022 Southeast Asian Wrestling Championship is the largest ever international senior wrestling tournament in Southeast Asia. The participating countries’ participation and preparation for this competition will help grow wrestling in the region for years to come," said Casey Barnett, VP of the Cambodian Wrestling Federation and SEA President. "It has been successful with the support of the amazing United World Wrestling development team and technical officials who conducted training to Southeast Asian federations prior to the competition. Before the competition, UWW trained dozens of referees, coaches, athletes and IT officials to provide critical human resources to grow the sport in our region.

CAMParticipants from five nations attended the seven-day training camp. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Training Camp – 8-15 December 2022
A total of 40 participants from 5 countries took part in this training camp. Training sessions were led by UWW Educator, Vincent Aka (CIV/FRA). Training included learning new and different techniques, games, match conditioning, and discussions on the preparation for competitions. Also, during the camp, Komeil GHASEMI (IRI), a 2012 London Olympic champion, was able to show techniques and serve as a role model for the athletes. “It was a good camp!  The wrestlers were committed and willing to learn to improve their level.” said Mr. Vincent Aka.

CAM1Two Coaching Courses took place in Cambodia over three days. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Coaching Course – Level 1, 12-15 December 2022
This course is part of UWW’s educational program that paves the way towards improving coaching skillsets and facilitating delegates with tools to strengthen their professional work.

The Coaching Course Level 1 was divided into two sessions: theoretical and practical. The structure of this course was designed in a way that any lesson learned in the classroom was applied on the mat.  The main topics covered in the course were the implementation of discovery games, introducing new techniques, improving coaching skills, giving feedback, age group characteristics, Anti-Doping and athlete safeguarding. The course was conducted by UWW Education Manager, Zach Errett (USA).  “It was great working with coaches from the Southeast Asian region.  They worked very hard, and we saw them grow during the course.  It is exciting to see the direction they are headed in this region.” said Mr. Zach Errett

Introduction to Refereeing, 12-15 December 2022
The course was conducted by UWW Educator Igor Ligay (KAZ). Referees had theoretical sessions and practical sessions on the mat. They studied the evaluation of actions, referee mechanics, the start and end of matches, and referee positioning during the match. The participants also had an opportunity to practice their skills with simulation matches prior to the start of the competition. After the Introduction to Refereeing Course, all attendees took part in the 2022 SEA Championships and participated in the Level 1 UWW Referee Certification Course. This will allow them to become licensed UWW referees. “It was a very good course. In this group, all the participants were young and inexperienced.  However, they were eager to learn and improve.  This was a good course to have before the competition started,” said Mr. Igor Ligay.

CAM2Participants of the IT Course gather for a photo. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Event Organization – IT Course, 14-15 December 2022.
The IT course was conducted by UWW’s IT Specialist Youssef Bouaziz (TUN). A total of 8 participants from 6 countries participated in the course. The participants were provided a hands-on experience using different tools - Arena, UWW timing and LGTV software. The course consisted of theoretical and practical parts and had 3 main chapters.  First, how to create and manage competitions. Next, how to manage UWW timing. Lastly, how to stream and record an event. “I am very happy that this region has a good young generation that wants to improve the event level in their country. They were excited and asked many questions on how to improve. It was great to see them look to the future and how they will improve wrestling for their federations.” said Mr. Youssef Bouaziz

CAM3Wrestlers drill during one of the training session. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Words of Participants
“Training camp was a great opportunity to learn new techniques, and exchange experience between different athletes. We had a great time and hope to participate in such events in the future. I want to thank the Cambodian Wrestling Federation and United World Wrestling for this great opportunity to grow,” said Dorn Srors, a Cambodian female athlete.

"Learning is a lifelong process. Therefore, I am thrilled to be part of the United World Wrestling course on coaching. It was a great opportunity for me to learn and unlock new skills with other coaches from Southeast Asian regions," said Komeil Ghasemi, the Head Coach for Cambodia.

“I take this opportunity to share my big thanks with the organizing committee and all involved in this course for giving me a chance to witness the value/gratefulness of the Introduction to Refereeing course in Cambodia from December 12-19, which was conducted with the support of Olympic Solidarity and United World Wrestling. Without any doubts, this course helped me to enlighten my knowledge in referee duties which come in any forum and to face them with much more confidence than yesterday,” – said Piyumi Lakshika, a women's referee from Sri Lanka.

“The UWW IT Training Course by Mr Youssef Bouaziz was incredibly informative and interactive. This training has equipped me with lots of tangible and professional tools to leverage on and use in achieving excellent desired results. With the help of the practical sessions during the training, now I know how to utilize available resources to get ahead of any issues that may arise,” - Chen Weiming, Wrestling Federation of Singapore.

Cambodian Wrestling Federation is working very hard to develop wrestling in its country and the region.  UWW is committed to working alongside them in this journey to help them grow and strengthen the whole Southeast Asian region. This event had a record number of participants, and UWW is excited about the growth of wrestling in Southeast Asia.