Adaptive Athlete Inclusion

Genny Tidwell

Adaptive Inclusivity in Weightlifting

October 26, 2023
M. Gomes

“Adaptive Inclusivity in Weightlifting” includes, but not limited to, WCHM and its members, WCH and its Provincial Weightlifting Association affiliates and weightlifting clubs’ collective willingness to invite adaptive athletes into their respective weightlifting communities and to nurture their growth as active members of those communities. This can be done through supporting clubs who show interest in coaching adaptive athletes or that already have adaptive athletes as members; implementing existing sections on the coaching of adaptive athletes in their coach training education (WCH Coach Course); initiatives of each PWA to seek out and apply for provincial sports grants to assist their promotion of masters para weightlifting among their registered clubs; and creative membership fee structure for adaptive athletes joining our communities.

Including the Adaptive Athlete. What do you think?

The IWF and its NSOs do not promote or support the inclusion of adaptive athletes as para weightlifters. Though they may be few in numbers, adaptive athletes must be welcomed into our communities. Sports Canada presents a more inclusive position on adaptive athlete inclusion and encourages its National Sports Organizations to follow their lead. WCHM has stepped forward and though it can only promote para weightlifting at the Masters level, its Para Weightlifting Rules and Regulations have been adopted by many National Masters Weightlifting Federations/organizations as well as the IMWA and its international masters federations like the Pan American
Masters and the European Masters.


I encourage individual weightlifters, their coaches and clubs, and their Provincial Weightlifting Associations to approach adaptive athlete inclusion with an open mind and a genuine readiness to promote this inclusivity in their own unique and creative ways.


Adaptive athletes are already out there participating in various Canadian Para Sports. Many of these athletes fully understand the benefits of strength training. There are many skills and attitudes that adaptive athletes can contribute to our sport. If we truly believe our sport of Weightlifting can accommodate all individuals, then we cannot deprive adaptive athletes of participating with us.


WCHM is aware that there is no such sport called “Para Weightlifting.” However, in the decades to come, interest among national and international adaptive weightlifters will increase to the point that a sport called “Para Weightlifting” will emerge and take its rightful place in the Para Sport Community.


Think about the following statements and share your level of readiness with each other in order to generate discussion about the inclusion of adaptive athletes into weightlifting. The WCHM President welcomes your thoughts, concerns, ideas and suggestion. If/when contributing to this discussion, please use attollo@hotmail.com    Adaptive-Athlete-Resources_English.pdf (wchmasters.org)


Adaptive Athlete Inclusion – What do you think?


1. I welcome the inclusion of an adaptive athlete(s) into our weightlifting club.

2. I have examined the WCHM Para Weightlifting section of the WCHM website.

3. After examining the WCHM Para Weightlifting website information, I support the inclusion of Masters Para Weightlifters.

4. I would like to help our Coach train an adaptive/para weightlifter.

5. If given an opportunity, I would invite an adaptive athlete into our weightlifting club.

6. I would like to see a new para sport called “para weightlifting” either as part of WCHM or WCH.


Club Coaches

1. I welcome the inclusion of an adaptive athlete(s) into our weightlifting club.

2. I have viewed the WCHM Para Weightlifting section of the WCHM website.

3. After examining the WCHM Para Weightlifting website information, I support the inclusion of Masters Para Weightlifters.

4. I would be amenable to training an adaptive/para weightlifter.

5. Our gym has the physical capacity to include an adaptive/para weightlifter.

6. I have or can adjust our club coaching schedule to accommodate an adaptive/para weightlifter.

7. I have some experience coaching/training an adaptive athlete(s).

8. I would be interested in upgrading my adaptive athlete coaching skills if offered by my Provincial Weightlifting Association.


Provincial Weightlifting Association Officials

1. We welcome the inclusion of adaptive athletes into our weightlifting clubs.

2. We have viewed the WCHM Para Weightlifting section of the WCHM website.

3. After examining the WCHM Para Weightlifting website information, we support the inclusion of Masters Para Weightlifters.

4. We would be amenable to working with WCH Coach Educators in our Province to include the education of coaches in the area of adaptive/para weightlifting.

5. We currently have a program(s) for individuals with physical challenges.

6. We would be prepared to seek out Provincial Sports Funding to promote para weightlifting in our province.

7. We are prepared to include adaptive athletes as Para Weightlifters in our open weightlifting competitions.

8. We are prepared to work with WCH Coaching Educators in ensuring that adaptive coaching topics are included.

2023 Canadian Masters – President’s Welcome / Mot de bienvenue du président


A Welcome from the President of Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie Masters Mark Gomes

On behalf of Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie Masters, I welcome competitors, coaches, officials, volunteers, family members, friends and spectators who are joining us for this historic event in beautiful Midland, Ontario. This is our twenty-eight Masters National Championships. Joining me today to welcome you is Karine Brouillard, President of la Federation Haltérophilie du Québec. I am fortunate to have this President by my side to provide my welcome in the French language.


Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie Masters recognizes that the location of our National Championships is on land which is the traditional and Treaty territory of the Anishinabek people, now known as the Chippewa Tri-Council comprised of Beausoleil First Nation, Rama First Nation, and the Georgina Island First Nation.


We are the first Masters weightlifting organization in the world to categorize itself as a separate national sports organization. We have successfully advocated and supported Canadian Masters Weightlifting at the National and International level since 1996. Our success is directly related to our strong organizational team, the commitment of our dedicated members and the support of every Provincial Weightlifting Association. We are officially recognized by the International Masters Weightlifting Association as Canada’s only sports organization representing masters weightlifters.


Driven Barbell Club organizing committee, under the leadership of Joanne Jeffrey and Alison Blackhurst has done an excellent job preparing this year’s Championships. The Ontario Weightlifting Association team, spearheaded by President Michael Miller, Vice President Linda Rosario-Earnshaw, and Competition Director, Dimitrije Mancic are commended for their undaunting support of the Masters weightlifting movement in Ontario and for all their hard work this weekend. I would also like to thank the town of Midland for allowing us to use this excellent sports facility, to RockTape for their generous donation of athlete knee sleeves, BMR Elmvale for platform building materials, Kelly Donaldson for the logo design and signage and Brenda Gyarmati for weightlifting belts.


I know how focused you will be on your session of this competition, but I invite you to visit and explore the sites in and around the town of Midland; such as Saint-Marie among the Hurons, Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, the Midland Murals, the Huronia Museum and Ouendat Village, Midland Harbour and the Georgian Spirit Cruises just to name a few. I hope you will enjoy this weekend, whether at the Competition, exploring Midland or touring around Simcoe County.


Good luck and I wish you all personal bests at this year’s Championships.

2023 Canadian Masters Championnats canadiens d’haltérophilie maîtres

Some of our Technical Officials

A Weightlifting Championship or a Family Reunion?

As athletes lined up to register at the welcome desk, I observed their amazement at the gifts that were being provided to them. There were weightlifting belts, wrist straps, tee shirts, in addition to the items purchased in advance. The host volunteers were very welcoming and attended to all the questions being asked of them.


The North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre in Midland was the venue, and the host Driven Barbell Club took advantage of the facility to ensure that athletes and officials had all the necessary requirements to meet their needs.  There were 155 athletes (84 women and 71 men) competing at our Nationals, with over 15 athletes already applying for new Canadian Masters Records. Our athletes were focused on their lifting, but always found time to meet and greet each other with open arms. The entire event was like a family reunion, an atmosphere that one does not find at other levels of national championships.


If you check out the Results section of this website, you will find more detailed information about all the athletes and Team results. You can also enjoy the action from the weekend at the WCHM YouTube Channel found on our Event page of our Website.


Congratulations to Team Quebec (First), Team Ontario (Second) and Team British Columbia (third). Grand Masters were Marcel Perron and Isabelle Gauthier (in the photographs).


I encourage our readers to share this exciting weekend on their Facebook page and Instagram accounts and to spread the good news that the Masters Weightlifting movement continues to attract more members each year. The members of the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Community (WCHM) are also actively involved in the Canadian Weightlifting community (Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie, WCH) as Technical Officials, Coaches, and Provincial Board members.

President announces 2022 ATTOLO Awards




The Attollo Award is achieved when a member of the Canadian Masters (WCHM) either gets a Gold at least three required competitions (Gold Award) or has participated in at least three of the same required competitions (Participation Award). The required competitions are the athlete’s Provincial Masters, Canadian Masters, Pan American Masters or World Masters Championships. Members are required to contact the President to ensure that they are included.


Accomplishing this achievement in our sport of Masters Weightlifting does not come easy. It requires great fitness, determination, dedication, and of course, considerable personal expenses.

Congratulations to Gold Award Recipient, Isabelle Gauthier.


Congratulations to Participation Award Recipients: Danielle Holdsworth, Frances Robson and Richelle Foster.

2022 Attollo Gold Award.Isabelle Gauthier

WCHM Members return victorious


Team Canada – WCHM Members return victorious from the 2023 Pan American Masters Championships


Despite the controversies in the USA Weightlifting World, the American host (USA Masters Weightlifting) continues to produce Championships which are very impressive to our Canadian athletes. This year our teams did well competing against their formidable American counterparts. Each Canadian Team had a mixture of experienced international masters athletes and first time competitors. Our WCHM members are very proud of each and every one of our athletes. Although they are all deserving of our attention, in this brief congratulatory article, allow me to highlight one of our Team members.


Isabelle Gauthier joined the Canadian Masters in 2017. She impressed us all with her Gold medal winnings at the 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022 World Masters Championships. She also won Gold at the 2019, and this year’s Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships. As President, I designated Isabelle Gautheir and Mario Boucher as Guardians of their Teams’ second place Awards. Isabelle is from Montréal, trains out of Force Vive Weightlifting Club and is Coached by Evgueni Romanov. I know he is as proud of Isabelle as we are. Mario is from Beloeil, Québec and trains out of La Machine Rouge. Isabelle’s Team Canada included Cybèle Lanthier (QC), Manon Poulin (QC), Caroline Darveau (QC), Sylvie Guénette (ON), Jeanette Perry (BC), Gabrielle Schmidt (QC), Jil Reid (SK), Saret Wijaya (ON) and Judy Quinn (ON). Isabelle broke records in all the Olympic lifts. Her records are : Snatch 64 kg, Clean and Jerk 86 kg and Total 150 kg. The current records were 50/58/107.


Mario Boucher’s Team Canada included Guillaume Arcand (QC), Tin Ly (QC), Michel Piétracupa (QC), Craig Astle (SK), Ahmed Alterkait (SK), Kevin Wood (NB), Tim McAuliffe (ON), and James Pineault (ON). In these photos you will see Sylvie Guénette and Tim McAuliffe, another dedicated weightlifting couple proudly displaying their medals. Sylvie was coached by Manon Poulin, who stepped in and coached several Canadian athletes. Manon, along with Judy Quinn have been World Masters Participants for decades. And of course, a picture of Isabelle Gauthier with the two Canadian Team Awards.


At the time of this article, other records were also broken. Craig Astle (SK) 98 kg Snatch; Gabrielle Schmidt (QC) Clean and Jerk 101 kg and total of 178 kg; Sylvie Guénette (ON) Snatch 51 kg; and Judy Quinn (ON) Snatch 29 kg, Clean and Jerk 37 kg and Total of 66 kg, all new World Records. Many of these athletes are now preparing for the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Championships, being held in Midland, Ontario from July 14 to 16. Some of these athletes are planning to compete in Warsaw, Poland at the 2023 World Masters Weightlifting Championships


Tim and Sylvie with medals
Tim and Sylvie with medals
Sylvie and Coach Manon Poulin
Sylvie and Coach Manon Poulin
Gabrielle Schmidt receives her Gold Medal (1)
Gabrielle Schmidt receives her Gold Medal (1)
Isabelle displays the Team Awards
Isabelle displays the Team Awards

WCHM Athletes are ready for the Pan Am Masters / Les athlètes de la WCHM sont prêts pour les Maîtres panaméricains


WCHM athletes are ready for the Pan Am Masters

The 2023 Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships will be held in Orlando, USA, from May 24  - 28.  There are 27 athletes representing the Canadian Masters (WCHM); fifteen men and eleven women.  Our group is composed of some well experienced international masters athletes, such as Isabelle Gauthier, Sylvie Guénette, Manon Poulin, Judy Quinn, Michel Pietracupa, Martin Walt and Mario Boucher, just to name a few.


Our athletes have been training very hard for the Pan American Championships and many will also be competing at the Canadian Masters Weightlifting Championships, July 14 – 16 in Midland, Ontario.


On behalf of their family at Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie Masters, we wish them great success, an enjoyable time and a safe journey. When the championship has concluded, I will post their great accomplishments on this website’s results page.

Sylvie with Coach Alex Fera
2023 Pan American Masters Canadian Team@0.5x
Tin Ly.2023 Quebec Provincials