International Women’s Day; Sambou Wins Inaugural Women and Sport Award

Isabella Sambou

Senegalese wrestler, Isabelle Sambou had extra reason to celebrate the International Women’s Day as she was named the 2016 recipient of United World Wrestling’s inaugural Women and Sport Award, which came with a $10,000 prize.

Sambou, who has won nine African championships and is arguably the continent’s most successful woman wrestler, has recently taken on an increase in leadership roles within her country and the international federation.

The award, created by the UWW Women and Sport Commission, included the nominations of Farnaz Panahizadeh, the International Relations Director for the Iranian Wrestling Federation, and Irene KANE, President of the American Samoa Amateur Wrestling Association.

United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic presented Sambou with a bouquet of flowers and the oversized check for $10,000.

Lalovic was also on hand for the International Women’s Day Celebration, which was held as part of the IOC’s three-day Women and Sport Forum.

While in attendance, IOC President Thomas Bach congratulated president Lalovic on his work in helping the IOC ensure the Youth Olympic Games met its goal of 50/50 gender equality — a first for the Olympic Games.

In addition to Sambou’s award, United World Wrestling has been running a series of initiatives in recent months to help promote and develop women’s wrestling around the world.

Isabelle SAMBOU

The development office, in collaboration with Olympic Solidary, has created a Women’s Coaching Course and is planning to award scholarships to help increase the number of female educators at their UWW Educator Programme in June.


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