IT has been an exciting few weeks since the last issue of BWL News came out.
Sport England released the latest participation figures for all sports as part of the Active People Survey, and I’m delighted to say that weightlifting was one of the few sports that have posted a large increase in participation over the last year.
There are now 20,500 more people weightlifting once a week than there were a year ago. That’s an increase of nearly 24 per cent over the 12 months to April, a growth which was only bettered by two other sports from all 31 that Sport England fund.
Despite all the medal success that London 2012 brought, some major sports have seen a drop in participation such as athletics, cycling, hockey, football and rowing. But weightlifting is bucking that trend with more and more people giving our fabulous sport a try.
So it was perhaps inevitable that, at the British Senior Championships in Bangor, there were new faces on the top of the podium in all but three of the categories, a sign that not only participation but coaching is also improving.
Congratulations must go to all our new champions. Many of them put their names into the hat for selection for future GB training camps and perhaps even the World Championships in Poland in October.
Another important announcement is that British Weight Lifting are moving offices as we shape the organisation to better achieve our future goals.
From July 31, we will be based at Belmont House, 20 Wood Lane, Headingley. Our phone number will change too – 0113 224 9402.
There are also changes being planned to a number of other areas following feedback gathered from you, the members, through our 2013 survey.
We are working to provide funding and opportunities for coach education as part of Sport England’s Workforce Development Funding.
The structure of the competition calendar for 2014 is also an area we want to improve, again using Sport England funding to improve the presentation and location of national competitions, as well as the frequency and accessibility of regional level weightlifting and powerlifting events for novices and newcomers.
And we are also working to enhance the membership packages, to make it even more attractive to be a member of British Weight Lifting, whatever level you are lifting at.