by Al Myers
Thom Van Vleck, of the Jackson Weightlifting Club, was awarded the bid at the Annual National Meeting to host the 2011 USAWA National Championships. The meet will be an one day affair on Saturday of the 4th weekend of June, 2011. The meet will be in Kirksville, Missouri. Thom is also planning on having a National Record Day the next day (Sunday) for those who want to attend. The Awards Banquet and the Annual National Meeting will be held Saturday evening, following the competition.
Thom and the JWC have been a great addition to the USAWA this past year. Thom hosted his first official USAWA competition last November – the JWC Record Day. Thom and the JWC competed in several USAWA competitions throughout the year. Thom is a “seasoned” meet promoter with vast experience. He has hosted an annual Highland Games in his hometown of Kirksville for many years that routinely draws over 50 athletes. Thom always puts on a “top level” competition and knows how to treat the athletes to a “fun time”. However, Thom is not really a newcomer to All-Round Weightlifting. One of his first weightlifting competitions he competed in was an “Odd Lift” meet held by Bill Clark over 30 years ago.
I think it is important to “rotate” locations that the National Championships are held each year to encourage local participation in Nationals for those athletes that are limited in traveling. The last time Nationals was held in Missouri was 2001, in which Bill Clark and Joe Garcia hosted it in Columbia. This location is the perfect “center point” of our membership. I fully expect next year’s Nationals to be very well attended, and exceed participation over what we have had in the previous several years of Championships. Take the time right now to put this weekend on your calendar and plan on attending!