OlympAfrica Hosts Largest Ever Wrestling Event in Ivory Coast

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY (May 17) -- United World Wrestling has partnered with OlympAfrica in Ivory Coast to host that nation's largest ever wrestling event. The two-month program includes more than 2,000 students from Soubré, Meagui and Okrouyo who are taking part in various camps and competitions until June 23. 

United World Wrestling development officer Vincent AKA, who was born in Ivory Coast and wrestled for France, is also leading a Level 1 coaching course in the country.

OlympAfrica is a foundation that has sport development centers in over 46 African countries and works in collaboration with the National Olympic Committees. It was founded based on an idea expressed by the late Juan Antonio SAMARANCH, former President of the International Olympic Committee. 

The foundation is owned by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa and supported by the International Olympic Committee, United World Wrestling and other partners, for the development of sports at a recreational and grassroots level in many African countries.

OlympAfrica has set up centers dedicated to sports activities, workshops, HIV prevention, coaching education and much more. The aim of these centers is to involve the youth in sports and activities that are good for their future development once they have finished their day at school. It's an excellent talent identification tool, particularly with the introduction of the Youth Olympic Games in the Olympic program.

United World Wrestling Joins World Taekwondo for Historic Event at Azraq Refugee Camp

By Tim Foley

AMMAN, Jordan (July 20, 2019) – United World Wrestling (UWW), World Taekwondo (WT), and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) hosted the first-ever joint Olympic-sport training event, named Aspire 2gether for Peace, in the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan.

The joint event is a tangible outcome of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between UWW, WT, and THF on 22 October 2018 to promote humanitarian, peace and social-development through sport. The Aspire 2gether for Peace event, sees UWW unite with WT and THF to deliver wrestling training to refugees at the existing Humanitarian Taekwondo Center.

The event was attended by a senior delegation from all three organizations and included WT President and  THF Chairman Chungwon Choue, Olympic gold medallists and THF/WT Ambassadors, Wu Jingyu and Ahmed Abu Ghaush; UWW Development Director Deqa Niamkey and Olympic medallists and UWW Ambassadors, Arsen Julfalakyan and Clarissa Chun. IOC Executive Board Member HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein attended on behalf of the IOC and UNHCR delegates attended the event on Filippo Grandi’s behalf.

THF/WT President Choue delivered an opening address, and UWW Development Director Deqa Niamkey also gave a speech on behalf of UWW President Nenad Lalovic, ‘Playing sport helps children building mental strength, resilience and fundamental skills. Thanks to the Jordanian Royal family and WT and THF to have invited United World Wrestling to this historic joint-event. We are delighted to have joined forces with World Taekwondo and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation to show that our MoU was not just words, but the start of a real and tangible partnership which will benefit refugee children around the world.’

A wrestling demonstration with the refugee children was carried out following the Azraq taekwondo team demonstration. Wrestling and Taekwondo lessons were also given to the refugee children later of the day.

Arsen Julfalakyan (ARM) UWW ambassador and Athletes Commission Member said: “It is great to contribute to the lives of the refugees through sport and thanks to the opportunity given by the WT and THF, wrestling is in the Azraq sporting programme. The refugees need sport in their lives which will enhance their current difficult situation with the hope that peace will reach their country. UWW is very proud to inspire the future generations."

United World Wrestling is committed to making a long-term contribution to improve the lives of the refugee children in Azraq. Together with Jordanian Olympic Committee and Jordanian Wrestling Federation, 4 local coaches will be running a 6- day a week schedule to provide wrestling lessons to children currently living in the camp.