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Development

Wrestling Key Player in ASOIF's 'Women Lead Sports' Programme

By United World Wrestling Press

Led by UWW Development Director Deqa Niamkey, wrestling and its development team played a key role in fulfilling ASOIF's mission to provide classes and leadership opportunities to female leaders in sport looking to "strengthen their self-confidence and acquire important skills to influence, negotiate, communicate, navigate politics, manage stakeholders and lead in male-dominated environments"

A snippet from the ASOIF article:

During the last two months, more than 60 future women leaders from ASOIF’s member federations successfully completed a series of virtual live-coaching sessions, aimed at preparing them to serve in elective positions of their respective International Federation (IF), Continental Association or National Federation.

The “Women Lead Sports” online masterclass, run by professional coach Gabriela Mueller, was created to help increase the number of women in leadership positions across the Olympic Movement. Amongst others, participants learn how to strengthen their self-confidence and acquire important skills to influence, negotiate, communicate, navigate politics, manage stakeholders and lead in male-dominated environments. They also receive personalised coaching, helping them to define their next strategic steps. The course tailored to ASOIF’s member federations was adapted to the current reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, with congresses and elections taking place in different formats and requiring strong skills in digital communication. Senior women leaders joined certain sessions to share their experience, provide advice and inspire.

“The programme was a swift and effective response to prepare an equal future in a COVID-19 sports world and thereafter”, said Gabriela Mueller. “Even though in many cases the pandemic has been gender-regressive across several sectors, the online masterclass empowers women to run campaigns, get elected and lead.”

Full story on the ASOIF website, here

Development

Financial Assistance Programs Boost Wrestling Nations in Olympic Year

By United World Wrestling Press

Augusto MIDANA (GBS) qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games after receiving financial assistance to attend the qualification event in Tunisia. (Photo: UWW)

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (June 1) -- As the COVID pandemic swept the globe and impacted lives and economies worldwide, United World Wrestling - led by president Nenad Lalovic and the UWW bureau - worked to create financial opportunities for small, heavily affected nations keen to continue in their Olympic journey even as financial opportunities dwindled.
 
In addition to existing programming, Lalovic and the bureau settled on direct assistance to support athletes and coaches in their quest to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Utilizing its established Technical Assistance program, UWW supported 121 athletes and coaches from 43 nations.

"We were determined to assist all our national associations and stay united through the most difficult challenges," said Lalovic. "These past 16 months have tested our resilience, but we've stayed united as a family and through the efforts delivered by the UWW Development Team, we saw great buy-in and five athletes who were able to qualify."

Georgios PILIDIS

Georgios PILIDIS (GRE) qualified during the World Olympic Qualifier in Sofia. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Of the recipients, five athletes successfully qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games via the program:

Augusto Midana (GBS) -- FS 74, African Olympic Qualifier
Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) -- GR 60, Asian Olympic Qualifier
BAT-OCHIR Bolortuya (MGL) -- WW 53, World Olympic Qualifier
Georgios PILIDIS (GRE) -- FS 65, World Olympic Qualifier
Karen ASLANYAN (ARM) -- GR 67, World Olympic Qualifier

In addition to funds provided directly from UWW, the IOC also entered as a collaborator, under its ‘Youth Athlete Development, International Federation Training Opportunities’, which was built to support smaller NOCs in sending their teams to Continental Qualifications.

The total cost for the training assistance was EUR 180’000, with 40’000 to be reimbursed by Olympic Solidarity.

"The qualifications were burdensome on the athletes," said Deqa Niamkey, UWW Director of Development. "They faced uncertainty in their training routines, issues with travel, and of course their own experiences with the impact from COVID. But as we know, wrestlers are tough and always find a way to get the job done!"

Aker AL OBAIDI (AUT)

Aker AL OBAIDI (UWW) was a member of the refugee team funded by United World Wrestling that traveled to various qualification events. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

In addition to the OS program UWW's development department oversaw a myriad of success stories during Olympic qualification with UWW Africa, referee scholarships, female coach support and refugee athlete support all making an impact.

UWW African Center qualified four of its nine fully supported athletes at the Africa/Oceania Olympic Games qualifier in Tunisia. 

While they fell short of Olympic qualifications, logistical support was provided to Aker AL OBAIDI (who resides in Austria) and Amir ALAWAD (who resides in Egypt) to attend Olympic Game Qualification events under the flag of the UWW Refugee team.

The referee scholarship program was utilized to send Demetra KOUTSOPODIOTIS-GAUTHIER (CAN) to the World OG Qualifier in Sofia, while UWW also sent Van Zyl Esta (RSA) - one of the scholarship holders of the Women's Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaches Program - to the African/Oceania OG qualifier as a coach.

Wrestling at the 2021 Olympic Games will be August 1-7 at the Makhuari Messe Arena in Tokyo.