This Sunday there are sure to be bodies building on the success of last year’s inaugural weightlifting competition with the second annual Northwest Weightlifting Competition at the North Coast gym.
A chance for northwest B.C. bodybuilders to test out competition in a supportive, adrenaline-filled atmosphere, founder Adam Yawrenko’s goal of the competition acting as a stepping stone to sanctioned competitions has come to fruition over the last year and he expects this year will be even better.
“My little engine that goes, goes. It’s been quite inspirational for people,” said Yawrenko, of the several competitors who went onto larger, official competitions after last year’s event. “We’re going to have more people participating to go to the next level – and that’s what it’s all about, to get some awareness and enthusiasm. Get people to get a taste of competition.”
Last year every competitor broke their personal record.
“We’re expecting the same this year. It’s just the adrenaline,” Yawrenko said. The event, which includes bench-pressing and dead lift categories, allows athletes to see where they’re at. “In a competition atmosphere people can always do better if you’re a competitive person – it brings out that little bit more,” he said.
The atmosphere in the gym during the competition doesn’t hurt either. “It’s just such camaraderie,” he said. “Everybody cheers for everybody. It’s not me against you or you against me, people just want you to do your best and do better than you did yesterday.”
Yawrenko, who is using the sponsorship money from the competition to purchase powerlifting equipment for the gym, only wants the best for his trainees and protégés – he’s worked with many of Sunday’s competitors and encouraged them to compete.
“I open the door for them and it’s up to them how far they walk through it,” he said. “You have to have heart and that cannot be taught.”
To that end, here’s a look at some of the people to watch on Sunday, June 7 – anybody is welcome to attend and “closet trainers” can sign up for the competition on the day. Weigh in is at 9 a.m., with a start time of 10 a.m.
Leigh Kasum A 50-year-old breast cancer survivor, one of over 10 women competitors, is new to the sport and has excelled at training.
Colton Carrita Sixteen and in a wheelchair, “he has a great attitude and just loves training.” Yawrenko thinks he can go far.
Dawson Kluss Last year’s teen winner went onto an International Powerlifting Federation international certified competition and broke two provincial records.
Cindy Leighton Last year’s women’s champ went on to win gold in an IPF certified competition last fall and will be competing in the B.C. championships in a few weeks.
Jason Oulette had the biggest deadlift last year went on to compete in the world championships in Las Vegas and finished near the top in his class.
Also on hand will be Ashley Whittington gym owner and new Mr. BC and best bodybuilder in B.C. this year.
Tabatha Kirkegaard, who won 3rd in the bikini competition at the provincial championships and has a ticket to nationals.
Dawn Mackay from Smithers won 2nd in the physique competition at the B.C. championships will be there – and may even compete.
“There’s some high level athletes going to be attending,” said Yawrenko. “It’s nice to have their presence.”