UWW holds second educator course in Istanbul

By United World Wrestling Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (March 25) – United World Wrestling hosted their second course for Educators in Istanbul, Turkey, March 16-20. The course focused on improving and developing the participants skills as an educator.  The Educators that attended participated in interactive activities to learn the principles of adult education, strategies for formative assessments, how to give feedback, and modern educator characteristics.  Each participant was required to deliver a Micro-Leadership session on one of the course topics to further practice and develop their skills. “The Educator Course was a success. The participants were highly engaged and are now committed to advancing the development of wrestling agenda. We will definitely see great progress in next Olympic cycle” – Deqa Niamkey (UWW Development Director)

Of the participants that attended, 12 of them were new educators to UWW.  They were required to attend 2 additional days to learn the foundation of educator skills.  After their initial training, they were joined by the remaining educators to participate in the rest of the course. 

The course was conducted by Mr. Vincent Aka (CIV/FRA) and Mr. Zach Errett (USA).  Mr. Aka is a the development officer and educator trainer for UWW.  Mr. Errett is the Education Manager for UWW.  They led a group of participants from every continent. “Today, after completing the training of our educators, we have taken a very important step towards the vision of professionalizing our national structures. From now on, our educators represent for us a bridge thrown from United World Wrestling to support the development of our national federations. Our educators, inhabited by the new approach of United World Wrestling, are the seeds that we launch in the fertile ground of the federations to energize the much-desired development of our basic structures. I am very proud to participate in this new stage. And we must continue this work for future generations of the wrestling family.” said Vincent Aka.  “It was a fantastic course!  The participants were openminded and worked very hard to apply the skills that they learned during the course.  This made for an enjoyable and productive course.  There is no doubt that these educators will help grow and develop wrestling around the world,”  said Zach Errett.

The organization of the course was assisted by the Turkish Wrestling Federation and the Associated Wrestling Styles – Istanbul Office.  “The course would not have been possible without the hard work by these groups! A special thanks to Mr. Seref Erouglu, President of Turkish Wrestling Federation and Mrs. Rodica Yaksi, Mr. Onur Simsek, and Farnaz Panahizadeh for all of their efforts to organize and provided a fantastic hotel and environment for the course,” said Deqa Niamkey.

TURAttendees participated in interactive activities to learn the principles of adult education, strategies for formative assessments and how to give feedback, among many other skills. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

Comments from some of the participants.

“I can see the change from Old Coach's mentality as a Power dictator to coach's try to learn new things every day to be a better coach more flexible and open mind.  I feel UWW is moving in the right direction to grow wrestling around the world, and We saw the United of Wrestling World form all educators around the world.  All educators from Different cultures, traditions, Languages, even music, and dance are different, but Everyone comes together Unites on the love of wrestling.” – Mohammed Abdelfattah (EGY/USA)

“This course has empowered us to spread wrestling coaching and refereeing skills using practical, contemporary and fun techniques to deliver our message to grow the sport.”  - Stefan Rudevics (AUS)

"I am going home from this educator's course filled with positive emotions and very happy that I was able to learn a lot of new things and new ways on how to improve as an educator.  This course has given us, UWW educators, an amazing opportunity and new skills which will help us deliver our future courses to NF's on a much higher level, and that by doing so we will be able to contribute to UWW Development department and its mission of helping our sport of wrestling evolve worldwide!" – Davor Petanjek (CRO)

“Thank you to the UWW Development Team and the Turkish Wrestling Federation for the opportunity to work and learn with coaches and referees from around the world!  The Educators Course was an invaluable experience!  I gained knew knowledge and ideas for educating athletes and coaches for success in competitive environments.  The Educators Course also helped reinforce a global network of coaches and referees that can share ideas across borders.” – Clarissa Chun (USA)

It was a very good course and I learned new experiences. I held training classes in my country for many years, but I always felt that my training courses were boring. Now I have learned that with good planning, active and happy training classes can be held. During this period, I met trainers and educators from other countries, and we had a good and intimate relationship with each other. All in all the course was great and caused changes in my behavior, thoughts and performance in my work life as well as my daily life in the future. I hope to be able to help develop my favorite sport, wrestling.  – Mohammad Mosalaeipour (IRI)


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.