LGBT Powerlifters from all over the world attended the inaugural LGBT International Powerlifting Championships (LGBT IPC) held in London on Saturday, July 29.
Nine countries were represented including Australia, Belarussia, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, United States of America and Great Britain with a group of 40 including lifters, coaches and partners in attendance.
Athletes participating in the event ranged from complete novices, right through to World champions and World record holders.
The Championships were staged as a direct reaction of Powerlifting not being included in the Gay Games in Paris 2018 and following subsequent discussions with The Federation of Gay Games, where a recommendation was made for LGBT Powerlifters to have their own annual championships for three years of the Quadrennial cycle.
The main purpose of these annual Championships is to grow and develop LGBT Powerlifting in preparation for the Gay Games in 2022. The host city for 2022 will be announced in October at the Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Gay Games in Paris and will be either Guadalajara (Mexico), Hong Kong (China) or Washington DC (USA).
There was a Congress meeting during the LGBT IPC weekend which was attended by the widest and most diverse group of LGBT Powerlifters ever assembled, with some attending Gay Games since as 1982, along with novice lifters new to the sport and participating in their first championships.
The group decided to form an athletes Union of LGBT Powerlifters to give them representation with The Federation of Gay Games and with mainstream powerlifting Federations.
Currently LGBT Powerlifters have no representation within the Federation of Gay Games, which was one of the reasons the sport was not included in next year’s Gay Games in Paris. Also a number of mainstream Powerlifting Federations have rules that could prevent LGBT lifters attending Gay Games in the future, and the new Athletes Union aims to clarify these rules and open discussions where appropriate to increase participation in future Gay Games.
Chris Morgan, male Co-President of the LGBT Powerlifting Union, Gay Games Ambassador and an eight time world champion in the sport, said: “LGBT IPC 2017 was a great success bringing together LGBT Powerlifters from all over the world, along with their coaches, partners, families and friends.
“The weekend provided an opportunity for us to begin organising our affairs in preparation for re-entering the Gay Games in 2022. We aim now to continue discussions with the Federation of Gay Games and enter discussions with mainstream Powerlifting Federations to make certain that LGBT Powerlifting continues to grow globally”.
Charlotte Wareing, female Co-President of the LGBT Powerlifting Union and a two time world champion and four time European champion, added: “It is essential that we adopt a sports model that attracts as many lifters as possible to participate in LGBT lifting, including people who in the past may have been discriminated against due to their gender, sexuality or HIV status. Gay Games adopts the principles in inclusion, participation and pursuit of personal best and we aim to stay true to these principles through the new LGBT Powerlifting Union”.
LGBT International Powerlifting Championship weekend 2018 is scheduled once again in London, with a bidding process now underway for future events in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Throughout 2017 and early 2018 the LGBT Powerlifting Union will be aiming to boost participation in the LGBT IPC by continuing to connect with the LGBT Sports Community by reaching out to under-represented women, transgender, non binary and intersex athletes.
Next year’s competition will take part on Saturday, July 28, the weekend before the opening ceremony of Gay Games Paris at Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club, which was established in 1926 and is well known for its strong commitment to diversity within the communities it serves.
Events being offered are Full Powerlifting (equipped and unequipped), Single Lift Squat (equipped and unequipped), Single Lift Bench (equipped and unequipped) and Single Lift Deadlift (equipped and unequipped).
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