2022 CMWC welcomes para weightlifters to their first in-person championships

Les Championnats canadiens d’haltérophilie des maîtres 2022 accueillent leur premier en personne Para Haltérophiles

Image from The Start of Something New - Para Weightlifting at the CMWC

This year, we will be welcoming two adaptive athletes, as para weightlifters, to the 2022 Canadian Masters Weightlifting Championships. It is not an easy task to enter a weightlifting competition as a para-athlete. To date, there are no policies or practices for the inclusion of adaptive athletes as provincial level weightlifters. Provincial level weightlifting does not fall under the auspices of the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Federation. This does indeed pose a challenge for our Federation, but not a great enough challenge to dismiss this overlooked group of athletes. As one surveys our website section on Para Weightlifting it will become obvious that we will find ways of welcoming them into our community. Each potential para weightlifter connects personally with our Federation President in order to determine their readiness for a national competition. Unless deemed by a medical doctor as unsuitable to compete, the adaptive athlete will find a place on our weightlifting competition platform.


Being asked to officiate the Olympic lifts for para weightlifters might make our Technical Officials somewhat uneasy. Current certification of technical officials and coaching requirements do not, at least at this time, include any specific preparation for the adaptive athlete. Our Federation has prepared guidelines that can be easily integrated within the current technical official’s refereeing responsibilities. Our Federation will defer coaching expertise to those most aptly prepared by Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie in cooperation with the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP)


At the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Federation, we can understand the difficulties experienced by adaptive athletes who decide to compete as para-weightlifters. As Masters weightlifters, we were at one time overlooked by the Provincial Weightlifting Associations and the National Sports Organization for Weightlifting, Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie. But times have changed and our Federation has been successful at encouraging all of the Provincial Weightlifting Associations to host Provincial Masters Weightlifting Championships. Our relationship with Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie continues to strengthen as more Masters join our family and contribute back into the national weightlifting community as technical officials and coaches. As these professional relationships continue to strengthen at the provincial and national level, we at the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Federation believe more doors for the adaptive para weightlifter will open and the present perceived barriers will be eliminated.


Para weightlifting and para weightlifters are expressions used by our Federation to describe adaptive athletes who take up the sport of weightlifting with strong desires to compete. As Masters were once a marginal group, para weightlifters now find themselves in a similar position. Many decades ago, women were the marginalized group, and we all know very well how they have demonstrated their success at weightlifting.


The Canadian Masters Weightlifting Federation welcomes back Scott Glass, from Saskatchewan, our first para weightlifter, who competed in the 2021 virtual Canadian Masters Weightlifting Championships. We also welcome our first woman para weightlifter, Nalani Perry from Nova Scotia. The welcome mat has been placed at our “door” and though we may not be the perfect “host”, we will certainly try to improve our “décor” with suggestions by our new and veteran members alike.