On October 16, 2017, USA Weightlifting (USAW) announced 13 Athlete Development Sites located in the West and Southeast United States. The announcement of these sites raised a number of questions:
- What will the sites be used for?
- Who can attend events at the sites?
- What kinds of events will be hosted at the sites?
- How much will the events cost?
I spoke to Suzy Sanchez, USAW Director of Development Programs, and gathered information about this new opportunity.
Q: Why did USAW create the Athlete Development Sites?
In April 2017, USAW created Athlete Development Camps. We executed a three-month trial run in the West and Southeast. After running the camps, however, we realized that we needed to restructure. The purpose of the camps was to attract new athletes, not to educate existing athletes. In fact, however, many of the athletes who signed up for the camps were seasoned athletes. There was some dissatisfaction from these athletes who felt that they did not learn much from the camps.
From this experience, we gathered that our members are seeking opportunities for continuing education. We created the Athlete Development Sites to replace the development camps and to offer continuing education opportunities for our members.
Q: Why did you select these particular sites?
The two largest pockets of weightlifting in the United States are in the West and Southeast. We wanted to create sites in areas where we could serve the most members. We also selected gyms that are run by coaches who are certified at the national level or higher. We are constantly working to foster good relationships between gym owners and USA Weightlifing and feel that this program will facilitate that. We also hope that the sites will link up talented athletes and talented coaches, creating more opportunities within the sport.
Q: What will the Athlete Development Sites offer?
The Athlete Development Sites will host five different types of clinics: Snatch, Clean & Jerk, Advanced Movement, Youth Weightlifting, and Introduction to Weightlifting.
Two of the clinics—Youth Weightlifting and Introduction to Weightlifting—will offer introductory instruction to beginners.
Three of the clinics—Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and Advanced Movement—will offer continuing education to seasoned athletes and coaches.
Q: What is the cost of attending a clinic?
We will be charging $99 for each clinic. We hope the fee for the clinic, along with multiple site locations, will keep costs manageable for athletes and coaches.
Q: How can people register for a course?
Registration will take place through WebPoint on the USAW website.
USAW will issue an official press release with more details in November. For further questions, contact Suzy Sanchez at Suzy.Sanchez@usaweightlifting.org.
Photos courtesy of Lifting.Life and USAW website.