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High School Weightlifting About to Get Big Boost

12 Jul, 2017

By: Michael Popke
New Partnership Set to Spur Participation at High School Level

It takes training, discipline and it has great physical benefits. And parents will love the fact that kids can’t get a concussion from doing it. Weightlifting is about to get a big boost at the high school level, thanks to a new partnership between the sport’s national governing body and the organization that oversees all sports at the high school level. And that boost might mean that event owners should get ready to see more teens entering the sport.

USA Weightlifting and the National Federation of State High School Associations recently teamed up via a new three-year partnership in which the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based national governing body will serve as a sponsor of the federation’s Coach Education Program. And together, both entities will seek to expand state championship opportunities in weightlifting.

“This exciting development for weightlifting speaks to our desire to support high schools in integrating weightlifting, continuing to ensure safety in the weight room and to make the United States the most active nation among our youth,” Phil Andrews, chief executive officer of USA Weightlifting, said when making the announcement.

Right now, weightlifting is a sanctioned sport only in Florida, and the Florida High School Athletic Association sponsors a state championship for boys and girls. Several other states have schools with weightlifting programs, and USA Weightlifting anticipates continued growth of the sport in other states.

“We are excited about this new partnership with USA Weightlifting,” said Bob Gardner, executive director of the NFHS, which writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at high school level. “The NFHS and its member state associations are always looking for ways to expand participation opportunities for boys and girls in high school sports. Through this partnership, more schools will be exposed to those opportunities through the sport of weightlifting.”

The sport may appeal to students who have more of an interest in individual sports, who enjoy training on their own and to whom traditional ball sports don’t appeal. (Other sports that have enjoyed growth for the same reasons include archery and bass fishing.)

Event owners who want to promote the sport to the high school crowd can do outreach to schools and athletic clubs about creating opportunities for teens to train safely – and affordably. Leveraging social media campaigns about upcoming events can also help build the buzz.

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