by Al Myers
John McKean, of the Ambridge VFW BBC, has announced a new, exciting meet for this year – the USAWA Club Challenge. It will be held on March 13th, at the Ambridge Barbell Club. It seems very appropriate that one of the oldest USAWA Clubs (the Ambridge BBC have been a registered USAWA Club since 1993) is hosting this Club Challenge. In the recent years club membership in the USAWA has declined, but at one time club membership was the backbone of the USAWA. The early USAWA bylaws even had stipulations in them that changes in the USAWA would only happen by votes of the clubs, with each club having a voting representative at the National Meeting.
John McKean has always been a “major player” in the USAWA. His resume of involvement goes on and on. He has been a National Meet promoter, a USAWA Hall of Famer, multiple National and World Champion, distinguished writer of numerous articles promoting All-Round Weightlifting, and a foremost leader in the USAWA. Now, he is taking on the challenge of rejuvenating the Club Membership program in the USAWA. I feel club membership is the “secret” to stimulating growth in membership in the USAWA. One of the problems we face in attracting new members to our organization is the understanding of the multiple lifts. Potential new lifters look at all of our lifts with confusion. We have over 200 lifts to learn while Olympic Lifting has only two and Powerlifting has three. But by being part of a club, new lifters have the opportunity to learn from the experienced All-Rounders. A club environment gives new lifters confidence to give All-Round Lifting a try. This only starts by those “who have been around” being leaders, and inviting new potential lifters to be part of their group. I would like to see the day return where lifters are proud of their club, and when they compete they wear their club’s T-shirt with pride.
This meet will be a club challenge – with each club having three members compete together side by side with their total points being added up for a Team Score. This meet is not about individual scores, and individual rankings will not be recorded. Clubs that enter need to be registered with the USAWA, but at only $10 per year to register as a club, it is truly just a token membership fee. Clubs may register the day of the meet. There is no entry form or entry fee, but each club must contact John ahead of time to enter. The details of this can be found on the event calendar.
This is one of the most exciting new events that has happened in the USAWA in recent years. Let’s all join together and make this Club Challenge a great success so that it will continue for years to come – and THANKS to John McKean for making it happen!!!