Wrestling Selects Elite Female Coaches for Leadership Program

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (September 24) -- The International Summer Sports Federations of Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Tennis, Triathlon and Wrestling have announced a cooperation agreement to help develop the leadership and technical skills of female coaches with high potential for long term success in their respective sports.

The IF’s have teamed up with the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity program to offer a 14-month programme for a limited number of high-performance coaches. The program is 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.

The program will be managed by the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy at the University of Hertfordshire, Great Britain. 

“On behalf of United World Wrestling, we appreciate this opportunity to work together with the International Olympic Committee, the National Olympic Committees, other International Federations and the National Federations around the development of these talented female coaches” said Mrs. Natalia Yariguina, UWW Vice-President and Chair of the Women and Sport Commission.

Natalia Yariguina, UWW Vice-President and Chair of the Women and Sport Commission.

The Women’s Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaches (WSLA HPC) has been specially designed and developed in cooperation with United World Wrestling for high-performance coaches with the aim of preparing coaches to step up and be part of an increased cohort of female coaches at the Continental, International and Olympic Games.

United World Wrestling was chosen to be part of the first International Federations to take part in this project due to existing initiatives around women in coaching.  Clarissa Chun (USA), Lotta Andersson Johansson (NOR), Diletta Giampiccolo (HUN/ITA), Esta Van Zyl (RSA) and Jessica Medina (USA) will represent wrestling in 2019-2020.

The WSLA HPC initiative began as a discussion between various stakeholders on how to address the consistently low percentage of female coaches at the elite level. The plan became to create pathways for female coaches to access, achieve and sustain success at the elite level by utilizing critical stakeholders at the national and international level.

Diletta Giampiccolo competing at the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

To achieve this the programs will set out to “upskill” - or reinforce strengths in the candidates- while also supporting them at an institutional level. Participants will be encouraged to work within their national and regional settings – and in cooperation with their National Olympic Committees and National Federations - to help others and raise awareness about women wishing to become elite coaches.

The WSLA HPC programme will bring together a number of outstanding high-performance coaches and provide a unique opportunity and environment for learning that will support female high-performance coaches to further develop:

• Coaching skills in a high-performance domain
• Leadership behaviors
• Confidence to progress their career path
• Negotiation skills and collaboration within the decision-making processes in their sport
• Influence at the very highest levels of the organization
• Ability to advocate for themselves, their athletes and for the team of people they represent.

The first session of the pilot project will take place November 3-8 at Hertfordshire University in Hartfield, Great Britain.