Women in Sport: WISH Programme kicks off Cohorts 2 & 3

By United World Wrestling Press

LONDON, England (4 March) – Women in Sport High-Performance Pathway (WISH) kicked off the 1st Edition of the programme on May 23, 2022. Since then they have started 2nd and 3rd cohort to help develop more women coaches in sport. The WISH Programme is designed to equip women coaches, who have the potential and ambition, to succeed in gaining roles at elite coaching levels within their sports. The programme is specifically designed to help coaches develop their sport-specific skills, leaderships skills and behaviours, and build confidence. United World Wrestling is participating along with many other IF’s and is being support by Olympic Solidarity, University of Hertfordshire, and Females Achieving Brilliance (FAB).

United World Wrestling has had three additional coaches start the most recent cohorts. Happiness Burutu (NGR) is participating in the 2nd cohort. That programme started on August 10, 2022 with a residential session at the University of Hertfordshire on October 24-28. The 3rd cohort started on November 30, 2022. Participating in this cohort includes Marwa Amri (TUN) and Yaima Payne (BAR). They recently completed their residential session at the University of Hertfordshire on February 20-24, 2023. “For met it was a distinguished week with a distinguished group of women coaches. The atmosphere prompted me to learn more about myself. I strengthen my self-confidence, learned positive thinking, how to better self-evaluate to improve, and to self-reflect to find a solution to any problem,” said Marwa Amri.

WISHWrestling's WISH attendees pose for photos. Top (right to left) Marwa AMRI (TUN) and Yaima PAYNE (BAR). Bottom (right to left) Edit DOZSA (ITA) and Happiness BURUTU  (NGR).

The residential session was a weeklong event where the coaches attended working sessions and participated in learning activities with over 20 coaches from other sports in attendance. Some of the key learning points included leadership skills, creative problem-solving, creating connections, mindset, having uncomfortable conversations, visualizing the future, etc… “This course helped me in many ways. It has made me have more self-confidence, to be creative, work as a team to achieve a goal, resolve conflict, handle challenges, better interact with the team, solve problems, and how to better train high-performing athletes,” said Happiness Burutu.

“The WISH (Empowering Woman Coaches) has been one of my favorite programs in terms of professional development for women coaches, managers, administrators and as a person," said Yaima Payne. "It also empowers you with educational knowledge, leadership and team work etc. This program will definitely helped me a lot to be a better coach and leader."

United World Wrestling also had Edit Dozsa (ITA) participate in the 2nd cohort. She was assigned to help with the delivery of the programme to the coaches. With her experience as a former athlete, coach, referee, and work within her Federation, she was able to provide valuable assistance to all the participants in the programme.


A post shared by Marwa Amri (@amrimarwa)

The WISH Programme is a 21-month programme. These coaches will continue meeting with the WISH Leadership Team, work with their leadership mentors, and sport-specific mentors. WISH was originally piloted as the WSLA High-Performance Coach Programme. UWW participated in the original pilot program with four coaches. After a successful experience, the WISH Programme was developed and expanded to include participation by more International Federations. UWW has renewed its participation outstanding programme.


In Southeast Asia, boost in referee numbers

By United World Wrestling Press

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (May 25) -- In a bid to improve the skills of referees in the region, an Introduction to Refereeing course was hosted by the Cambodian Wrestling Federation prior to the South East Asian Games.

The course was conducted between May 8-12 and organized by the President of Southeast Asia and Vice President of CWF Casey BARNETT.

Conducted by United World Wrestling Educator and IS Olympic referee Ashok KUMAR (IND), the course allowed referees from Southeast Asia to improve their skills prior to being evaluated at SEA Games for a potential UWW referee license.

There were 17 participants that took part in the course. This included referees from Cambodia, Indonesia, and Ukraine.

“Most of the candidates were young referees in their twenties. They were extremely enthusiastic and excited to learn about referee skills," Kumar said.

During the course, participants learned the foundations of what it takes to be a great referee. The areas covered during the course included: the safety of the athletes, evaluation of holds, referee mechanics, positioning, and controlling the bout.

The five-day course gave the participants extra practice because of the limited wrestling activities in the region.


Each day, they conducted theoretical sessions in the morning at the CamEd International Business School. Then in the afternoon, the participants had practical sessions at the training hall.

"The extra practice and longer course were perfect for the candidates. This was evident with the amount of improvement they showed on the final day of the course,” Kumar added.

At the conclusion of the course, the referee candidates completed the UWW Level 1 course and practical during the SEA Games. With their performance, they hope to see an increase in the number of UWW-licensed referees.

“The training course was a wonderful success with the excellent class instruction of Kumar and the amazing mentoring and supervision of Jang. The skills developed by our referees will make a long-lasting impact on the sport of wrestling in Southeast Asia by improving the standard of refereeing and competitions in the region," Barnett said.

Even the participants of the course expressed their satisfaction and hailed the course as transformative.

"Throughout the SEA Games in Cambodia, I had the opportunity to participate in Referee Training Course which was educated by an expert educator from UWW. I used to doubt and ask myself if I can make it or not. As a result [of the course], I was able to successfully achieve it,” Huy LYSIENG, a Cambodian referee, said.

Another referee added that the emphasis was put on the right areas and the course will help them perform their duty in the right manner. 

“I particularly enjoyed the structure of the course," Mykyta SHYMKO, a referee from Ukraine, said. "It managed to strike a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skills, allowing us not only to understand the rules of wrestling but also to apply them in practice. It was also wonderful to see that you placed special emphasis on ethics and fairness in refereeing, making our sessions even more valuable.”