NPAJ boss happy ahead of today's inaugural national championshipsSaturday, November 27, 2021
Michael Blair, president of the National Powerlifting Association of Jamaica (NPAJ), is excited that the sporting body is on the verge of hosting a championship 11 months into its existence.
The national championship is to be held at the auditorium of the University of Technology Jamaica (UTech) today.
“We just crossed 11 months old and it's our first championship to measure the athletes that we have,” Blair told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
“We have achieved a lot of stuff since we became an association. To have a national tournament within one year of our existence must be a major achievement,” the elated NPAJ president added.
Blair said weigh-in is at 7:30 in the morning ahead of competition which is to start at 10:00 am.
Powerlifting is an individual sport for men and women in which the goal is to lift the greatest weight possible in squat, bench press, and deadlift in specific weight categories.
It is similar to weightlifting as competitive sports. However, the focus in powerlifting is to lift as heavy as possible in a single plane of motion. Athletes have three attempts to reach their maximum capacity. The heaviest lifts are combined to give a final total.
In weightlifting, there are two movements and the execution is faster. Competitors are judged on not only how much they can lift but on their technical skill in addition to the control of the lift.
The NPAJ was incorporated in December 2020, and became a member of the International Powerlifting Federation in February this year. Blair said the local body has over 100 members.
For the national championship, Blair said he expects at least 23 athletes — both men and women — to compete.
He said organisers settled on a relatively small group of participants to ensure smooth running of the event, given the local body is still in the teething stages.
“I can confirm that at least eight females will participate. It's our first tournament like this, so we want to ensure that we get as much correct and we are able to learn from it, so we have kept down the number of people,” he said, while adding the number of weight classes being contested may vary depending on the outcome of this morning's weigh-in.
Because of guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus spectators will not be allowed inside the venue.
But the NPAJ boss, who has served as administrator at the Jamaica Football Federation and the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association, said plans are in place to ensure fans can follow the action.
“It [not having spectators inside the venue] is not a damper at all. The National Powerlifting Association of Jamaica will never leave its members not knowing what is happening.
“We are going live tomorrow on social media. So we are not going to have spectators there but we are taking it to the spectators tomorrow,” he told the Observer.
— Sanjay Myers