Powerlifting association partners with UWITuesday, July 20, 2021
BY HOWARD WALKER
THE newly formed National Powerlifting Association of Jamaica (NPAJ) and The University of the West Indies (UWI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Friday that is geared to boost and grow the programmes of both entities.
NPAJ was incorporated in December 2020 and gained membership to the International Powerlifting Federation in February 2021.
Powerlifting is an individual sport for both males and females in which the goal is to lift the highest amount of weight possible in the squat, bench press, and dead lift in a specific weight and age category.
President of Jamaica's newest sporting body, NPAJ, Michael Blair said the organisation is already making great strides.
“First, today is a good day. Our association is just six months old and we have just signed a huge MOU with The University of the West Indies,” said Blair.
He continued: “This MOU will assist players and give them the best opportunity medically to perform at their highest level.”
Professor Dale Webber, pro-vice chancellor and principal of the Mona Campus, noted that the MOU is a win-win scenario for both the UWI and NPAJ.
“The University has, for a long time, recognised the importance of sports in the development of all aspects of our students and staff,” noted Webber.
“The NPAJ is an association that is going to help us get the most out of every athlete as they develop themselves. This MOU allows us to tap into their resources and for them to tap into our resources so that together we can grow,” he added.
“There are a number of components of our medical programme and our sporting programmes which will become available to the National Powerlifting Association, and from their organization, we hope to take advantage of the training of the methodologies, things that will help us in our athletes' development and in our general students,” Webber explained.
The NPAJ said it has 87 administrative members and is currently on a recruitment drive for athletes.
“We have actually started that last week and have sent out a recruitment drive flier on our social media, and we have been getting some feedback from persons interested in joining the association,” said Blair.
“We have about 10 to 15 athletes pending for membership that are being processed. They are from Jamaica, Canada, US, and England all applying,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Dr Akshai Mansingh, head of the Faculty of Sports, noted that this MOU is extremely important for several reasons.
“Number one, partnering with a national organisation is always one of the goals and one of the benefits of the Faculty of Sports, and in terms of being able to supply our services in need to those associations,” he pointed out.
He continued: “Partnering with a new association or relatively new one is even more exciting because we can help formulate the plans. We can help execute programmes and obviously we can grow together. We are relatively young faculty, they are a new association, and they are places we can go.
“But, in general, what the faculty of sport offers is both academic opportunities and practical aspects. We have programmes in sports coaching, sports kinetics, from a bachelor's [degree] right up to PhD level. We have sports business management and other things which can help the athletes grow, help the association grow.”
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