by Steve Gardner, IAWA President
Announcement – Knee Sleeves – An IAWA Worldwide Members Poll
As you will all be aware, there was a proposal recently being put to IAWA about allowing the use of ‘Knee Sleeves’ to be worn in all lifts when competing with IAWA. The Knee Sleeves were not being proposed to be performance enhancing or assisting, but simply, we were led to believe, to help keep the lifters knee joints warm and comfortable. Whilst that proposal could be easily understood there would of course be concern that this might well lead eventually to items being worn that would in fact become performance enhancing. It was decided that in this unusual circumstance, rather than let the issue be decided by the group of members that happen to be in Kansas this October, it would be a far better way to decide the issue if we conducted an individual poll of all IAWA members in all Countries. Many of those who did comment, made the point that it was easy enough to wear such an item whilst training and warming up, and then remove them whilst going onto the platform to perform lifts. Of those who spoke for allowing the move, most said that they not wish to see knee supports used as an aide to lifting, and many then went on to say that in fact, they couldn’t really see the point of bringing in such a move if it wasn’t going to be of any real assistance. IAWA does allow the use of wrist wraps, a belt (and knee wraps for the front and back squat only) and in the event, it seems that is how the IAWA membership want to see it remain.
My thanks go to Al Myers in the USA and Robin Lukosious in Australia for helping me conduct the poll, which was quite an undertaking. My thanks again to all those members who returned poll forms, and for the many constructive comments that were made ‘for and against’ and thank you to Dan Wagman from the US who forwarded a full report on the matter. The poll return was roughly 40% of the total membership who were polled. Of those that made returns, the result was 40% for the proposal and 60% against the proposal. The matter is now closed, and IAWA will continue without knee sleeves as per the majority vote result, in line with our democratic principle.