THE officials behind Bendigo’s first Victorian Weightlifting Association-sanctioned event in 30 years hope to make it an annual event.
It follows the success of last Saturday’s competition at The Human Mechanics gym in Epsom.
Bendigo Weightlifting Club’s Troy Hewkins said for a first-time event things could not have run more smoothly.
“You would always change some things when looking back, but it was very successful for a first time,” he said.
“I have already been getting messages of support and congratulations, as has Martin Leach, who has been my coach in the later part of my career and had a heavy role in the Commonwealth Games this year and helped set this competition up.
“I really think this is just the start of a new beginning for weightlifting in this region.
“I wouldn’t be against doing it every year and that might lead (the VWA) to doing them in other towns every few years.
“I don’t think they (the VWA) were disappointed in any way; we really stepped it up as a team.”
The event was highlighted by dual ‘best lifter’ awards for Bendigo’s Annabelle Harwood and Nathan Stradling.
“They both did personal best lifts in front of their home town crowd - we couldn’t ask for much better,” Hewkins said.
“Pretty much all of our lifters performed really well.”
I really think this is just the start of a new beginning for weightlifting in this region.Troy Hewkins
More than 30 lifters competed in Bendigo.
Hewkins praised the venue, event sponsors and an appreciative crowd, which really got behind the home town lifters.
“(The gym) was the next best thing to an actual weightlifting stadium – it had everything we needed,” he said.
“The space worked really well, nothing was too cramped … it looked like any other professional weightlifting event, just with a slightly different setting.
“There were more people in the crowd than I expected.”
For the Bendigo lifters, there was little time to reflect on their achievements, with all returning to the gym on Monday night.
“I anything there are more eager to get back to training now … it’s pretty hard leading up to a comp with the high training loads,” Hewkins said.
“I’d love to get a crew together for the nationals next year, now that the club is established.
“That would be a good goal for most … hopefully I might be able to compete myself.”