Powerlifting Club holds 2017 New Year’s Championships

On Saturday, the UBC Weightlifting and Powerlifting Club held its first British Columbia Powerlifting Association (BCPA) sanctioned competition event of the year.

The event took place in the basement of the Nest, with a total of 51 competitors from UBC and abroad of various weight and age classes — all of whom are members of the BCPA. Like most other powerlifting competitions, participants each had three attempts with three different lifts — the deadlift, bench press and squat.

According to Elizabeth Hu, the treasurer for the club and meet director for the competition, enthusiasm for the event was high from the beginning. Registration was full only 30 minutes after it became open to the public.

The meet was a fun experience for many, including those outside the university.

“I like the venue. It’s a little different from previous meets that I’ve been through,” said Eddie Lovsin, a competitor for the junior male 120 kilograms class from Maple Ridge. “The seating is a lot better. It gives you a good area to see the lifters.”

Cameron St. Amond — a student at the Justice Institute of BC who competed for the junior male 105 kilograms class — was most impressed by the overall efficiency of the event.

“For a local meet, it’s really well set up. They’re flying through the attempts, which is always good. You don’t want to be in the back area and waiting around too long in between attempts,” said St. Amond.

For Kevin Yoon, a fourth-year kinesiology student at UBC, the event was his first time coaching an athlete for competition. He was the coach for Carly Klohs of the female junior 72 kilograms class.

“It was pretty interesting. I was always in the athlete’s shoes, so I’ve never really experienced the coaching part of the sport,” said Yoon.

With Klohs being a first-time competitor, Yoon also saw the event as a chance to create a memorable experience for her.

For Hu, the event was her chance to see her efforts in a long planning process finally become a reality.

“It’s pretty amazing to see [the event] come together after six months of hard work. It was pretty stressful up until this point, but now everything’s moving along smoothly,” said Hu.

Gabe Festing — president of the BCPA — was also thoroughly impressed with the way the competition turned out. With 11 other BCPA meets scheduled to take place this year, he sees the event as another effort to accommodate for a sport with growing popularity.

“Powerlifting has exploded over the last few years. It’s something that I never imagined ... [The UBC Powerlifting Club] has done an amazing job and I’m quite proud to have them on our BCPA team,” said Festing.