University of Jamestown women's wrestling coach Shauna Kemp will have "Qatar" stamped on her passport this week.
Kemp will be flying to the Middle East on Thursday to represent the United States in the first annual Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar. The games will run from Oct. 12-16, and Kemp will compete in the World Beach Wrestling Championships at 60 kilograms beginning Tuesday.
The event was originally scheduled to be held this fall in San Diego, California, just seven hours by car from Kemp's home town of Flagstaff, Arizona. But the games were later re-awarded to Doha, forcing Kemp to trade in a 1,700-mile trip to Southern California with a once-in-a-lifetime, 7,100-mile trek to the Persian Gulf.
"Being outside, having fun. That's the culture of beach sports," said Kemp via telephone Wednesday. "Now they're bringing wrestling into that and it's pretty cool. That's why I was intrigued by it.
"I mean, it was at home in San Diego, so I was more intrigued by that," Kemp laughed. "But it got moved and you have to go."
Kemp qualified to compete in the first-ever World Beach Games by winning gold at 60 kg during the World Beach Game Trails in Las Vegas, Nevada, back in April. The games in Qatar will include 17 disciplines, including beach volleyball, beach soccer, beach tennis, beach basketball and beach wrestling.
Kemp, a former Team USA member and collegiate national champion, has been competing and training for over a year while juggling her duties as head coach of the Jimmies. The UJ women's wrestling team begins the 2019-20 season hosting the Jamestown Duals on Nov. 2.
"Time management and making a lot of lists," Kemp said. "I'm feeling good about wrestling. I've been having to overprepare a little bit because, obviously, my team is going to be competing in a couple of weeks. Putting together practice plans for the coaches and just kind of preparing everything for me being gone."
Kemp and UJ found out last week that Jamestown has been awarded the next two NAIA Women's Wrestling National Invitational tournaments after hosting the inaugural event last March. The 2020 national tournament is scheduled for March 13-14 at Harold Newman Arena.
"It's an honor to be able to have that tournament," Kemp said. "Jamestown traditionally hasn't had a lot of home events, and so for us to have the national tournament in a way doesn't make up for the lack of home tournaments, but it does give the girls something really special.
"It's just really great for the girls on our team and the families who are coming to watch them."
But first, Kemp has a shot at winning one of the first World Beach Games women's wrestling gold medals next week on the opposite side of the globe.
"That's the goal," Kemp said.
The inaugural event has lined up 20 women, including Kemp, to compete at 60 kg. Women's beach wrestling consists of two, three-minute periods.
"It's a much more simple scoring type of wrestling," Kemp said. "The point of it was to make it much more fan-friendly. It's just first person to 3 (points). A takedown is 1 and they put you right back up on your feet. There is no wrestling on the ground in the sand.
"It's mostly takedown wrestling and pushouts. A throw-type move will end the match."