TRADWOC - TRAditional Wrestling, Our Culture.

TRADWOC - TRAditional Wrestling, Our Culture.

TRADWOC - TRADitional Wrestling Our Culture  

Project Summary

Wrestling is the most popular traditional sport in South East Europe but since the organisation and transmission are still based on isolated local social structures and informal networking, traditional wrestling styles are in danger of disappearance. Our research and experience show that in modern society, traditional sports and games can be successfully maintained, only if they are organised in formal institutions (federations and umbrella associations) and if players and promoters are interconnected in translocal and transnational networks. The project team wants to meet target groups of people involved in traditional wrestling in particular regions in SE Europe and to motivate them to establish regional, national or transregional organisations that can become part of the transnational network of organising, promoting and safeguarding traditional wrestling. It will encourage relevant local actors to think of new forms of organisation and governance such as clubs, networks with educational and cultural institutions and partnerships with already established regional federations from West Europe. It will share ideas and experience with them in order to convince them of the advantages of being organised in formal settings and to participate in transnational networks. It will reach them at meetings and 2 workshops during a 19-day trip in SE Europe. Representatives of the target groups will be invited to a seminar, an international conference and wrestling exhibitions during a festival of traditional sports and games in Verona. They should help them to establish formal structures and an effective framework for joint activities. Also the notion of traditional wrestling as culture (intangible cultural heritage) will be promoted. The project will exploit the results to create a model for action that can be used for other traditional sports and games and in other regions of Europe. Outcomes and policy recommendations will be presented in an open access book.  

The project leader is Associazione Giochi Antichi and the other partners are Institut za etnologiya i folkloristika (Bulgaria), Federación Territorial de Lucha de Castilla y León (Spain), Federatia Romana de Oina (Romania) e Association Europeénne des Jeux et Sports Traditionnels (France)

Activity and venue of the project

Act.1 Kickoff meeting

January 2017

A two-day kickoff meeting of the team manager (TM), the administrative manager (AM), the project coordinator (PC) and all members from AGA to plan the project activities for the first 6 months and assign the tasks to the team members. 
On the second day for the team members who were not present was organized a video conference.  

Act. 2 Activities in South East Europe

May 2017 

19-day trip of of the team manager and the project coordinator in the South East Europe to meet local target groups and discuss and plan together; visit two traditional wrestling festivals; meet local target groups and representatives of target groups from neighbour countries/regions during the festivals; organise 2 workshops during the festivals.

The first festival was in the area of Constanta, Romania. For the other weekend, a wrestling festival in Southwestern Bulgaria (near the borders to Greece, Macedonia and Serbia) was selected. This created a possibility that representatives of target groups from the neighbour countries attend the meetings.

Here you can discover the agenda of the activities conducted in
 ConstantaNigrita and Petritch.

Act.3  Work meeting

June 2017

The Team Manager and the Project Coordinator analyzed the results and sent a report to all project members and to the main actors who represent the target groups. 


In late June, a 3-day work meeting held in Verona. On the first day, the Team Manager, the Administrative Manager, the Project Coordinator and all members from AGA gathered to evaluate all previous activities, analyse the results and elaborate a detailed plan for the next two months (till Sept).

On the second day leaders of traditional wrestling federations from West Europe (see Act.3) joined. One of the aims of this meeting was to elaborate the conceptual framework of the seminar and conference in September.

In the morning of the third day, a video conference with all project partners was held. After the work meeting, a report has been written and sent to all project members and target groups.

Act. 4 Seminary

12-18 September 2017

The participants arrived on Tuesday evening and wdepart on Monday morning. Participants were all project partners (AGA, AEJeST, FLL – Spain, FRO – Romania and IEFSEM – Bulgaria), representatives of the target groups in South-East Europe (Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Greece and others – depends on the results of Act.7) and representatives of traditional wrestling federations from West Europe (Austria, Switzerland and Sardinia). By now, the estimated number of the participants were 43.
The seminar was held on four days and its main tasks was to help the target groups to:

       ·      Exchange of knowledge between traditional wrestling federations and umbrella associations from West          Europe and target groups from SE Europe;
       ·      Create a framework for the establishment of formal translocal/transregional organisations in SE Europe        and for the cooperation with already established organisations in West Europe;
       ·      Promote the notion of traditional wrestling as an element of the intangible cultural heritage
·      Exhibite native wrestling styles from SE Europe at the international Tocatì Festival. 

Regarding this stage of the project, the following reports can be viewed, prepared by Petar Petrov, the coordinator of the project.

Report 1

Report 2

And some photos of the traditional wrestling demonstrations that took place at the Tocatì Festival.

Act.5 International conference 


Settembre 2017

The conference will summarise the results of the seminar and the (re)search and meetings made. Experts in the organisation, management, safeguarding and promotion of traditional sports and games were invited as keynote speakers. Drawing on the results and experience from all previous project activities, the project team, together with the experts and the representatives of the target groups, formulated and make public guidelines/visions for future actions.

A report about the conference (and also about the seminar and the exhibitions) was prepared and sent to the target groups.

Read the book of Tradwoc: tradwoc_book_pdf

Press Review:

Documents and graphic files:


  The project is co-funded by Erasmus+ programme of the European Union