UWW Hosts Educator Course in Guatemala

By United World Wrestling Press

PETEN, Guatemala (February 7) --- The first of two UWW Educator Courses was conducted in Peten, Guatemala, from 2-4 February. The course included 14 UWW Educators. The educators were mostly from Central and South America but also included a few educators from Europe.

This course was designed to help provide professional development and improve the skills of the educators.

During the course, they participated in activities to help them better understand adult learning principles, the use of formative assessments, and strategies to give proper feedback. The educators also conducted micro-leadership sessions where they had to teach the other educators some topics that are within the UWW education courses. The training was conducted by Vincent AKA (CIV) and Zach ERRET (USA).

“The course was great! The educators were very professional and were actively participating throughout the course. It was great to see them apply some of the principles that were covered in the course.”  Said Zach ERRET, UWW Education Manager.

14 UWW Educators from Central and South America and Europe came together for the first of two UWW Educator Courses. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

“Seeing these educators literally integrate the process of professionalism through training is heartwarming. And I have total confidence in their ability to train our future coaches and referees with regard to what they have demonstrated during their training. They can always count on our department to support them in their mission for the coming years.” said Vincent AKA, UWW Development Officer.

This course also included an opportunity to experience and learn the culture and history in Guatemala. At the conclusion of the course, the educators had an opportunity to visit and tour Tikal National Park. This was one of the sites of the ancient Mayan civilization.

This experience allowed the educators to build stronger relationships with each other. 

“Visiting Tikal National Park was amazing! We do not often get a chance to see historical sites and learn about the culture of the country. To have an opportunity to learn about this ancient civilization and see it firsthand was outstanding. Hosting the course and providing this experience is just another great example of the vision that President Lee has to not only raise the level of wrestling in the Americas but to provide an incredible experience for those attending events.” Said Zach ERRETT, UWW Education Manager.

This course and tour were organized by Mr. Francisco LEE LÓPEZ (President of UWW Americas) and his team. They did an amazing job of organizing the entire event and provided a top environment for a lifetime's training and cultural experience.


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.