Women in Wrestling: Leaders Reflect on Experience in WSLA Program
Monday, March 1, 2021 - 22:56 By United World Wrestling Press
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (March 1) -- Some of wrestling's up-and-coming leaders last week completed the Women's Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaches Program. Clarissa CHUN (USA), Lotta ANDERSSON JOHANSSON (NOR), Diletta GIAMPICCOLO (HUN/ITA) and Jessica MEDINA (USA) were each successful at graduating from the groundbreaking leadership program.
An assortment of IF's teamed up with the IOC's Olympic Solidarity program to offer the 14-month WSLA program for a limited number of high-performance coaches. The program was in direct support of Recommendation 6 of the IOC's Gender Equality Review Project, which seeks to increase the share of female coaches at the Olympic Games.
United World Wrestling was the instigator among five other International Federations to drive this first initiative of its kind for the development of women in coaching.
The coaches developed skills in many areas through the program, including developing effective leadership skills to further their development as coaches and leaders in wrestling. They completed activities and projects on their own throughout the 14-month program and spent the final two months attending multiple online sessions. The coaches also worked with a leadership mentor from WSLA and a sport-specific mentor to help improve specific leadership and sport specific competencies.
The women who participated in the program recently reflected on the experience.
Clarissa Chun: "The Zulu word 'Ubuntu' means I am because of you, you are because of me. This philosophy helps describe my experience in the Women's Sports Leadership Academy High-Performance Coaches Program. The program brought global perspectives, which sparked creative ways of working together. We expanded our leadership and communication skills and laid the foundation of a support network that will continue to grow as we share ideas and experiences beyond the WSLA program. Mahalo to everyone involved in the WSLA HPC Program. I would also like to extend my appreciation to United World Wrestling, USA Wrestling, and Olympic Solidarity in supporting my development as a coach."
Lotta Andersson: "The greatest thing for me about being a part of the WSLA program is meeting all of these strong motivated and successful female coaches from different sports from different parts of the world. I have a greater understanding of how important it is to have a strong network around you for support, motivation, and cooperation. Getting more and more women as coaches and leaders involved in high-performance cultures is important for the future. I think this means that more athletes also see the opportunity to continue living with sports as a profession. I also think it is important to make women realize that you can be just as good whether you have a male or female coach."
Diletta Giampiccolo: "The greatest gift the WSLA program gave me was the realization that I am not alone as a woman in the sports world. Since 25 women coaches in 6 Olympic sports from 5 continents participated in the program, I felt that I was a part of a great community. It made me realize that regardless of where you live and work as a woman, we all deal with the same problems. The WSLA program has taught me to reach out for help and if we work together nothing is impossible."
Jessica Medina: "I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to join the WSLA program. The course focused on key leadership skills that translate directly into high performance coaching. I was able to build a network of 25 coaches from 23 countries in 6 sports. We had the same challenges and we were able to support one another in overcoming obstacles including the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm grateful to United World Wrestling and the IOC for the support they have extended in supporting female coaches. The future is bright!"
The WSLA Leadership program was renewed for another year with dates to be defined in the coming months. Scholarship applications for interested individuals and NFs will be sent in due time.
For more information on the activities of the United World Wrestling development department check out www.unitedworldwrestling.org/development