July 2013 by Emma James – President of the BPU
It's been an amazing journey in a very short space of time. Not only was the European Championships a huge success with the best Euro’s I have been to in years but also new European titles and records from Corinne Ingman, Emmy Louise, Darren Hammond and also myself with a new world record and a new beginning for Great Britain with the World Powerlifting Congress.
At the European Championships I also had the privilege of the BPU being put forward for hosting the WPC European Championships in 2016 and winning it. This is such a major opportunity for us to create something really spectacular and with the help of the other international federation heads and also the WPC head office with Mike Sweeney and Amy Jackson I hope we can come close to the amazing championships the Portuguese put on!
The committee have been working flat out – Dan Yeates as press and web officer creating this awesome web site, Tony Giddings our Vice President getting a lot of the admin and records and paperwork done, Simon Norcup with promoting comps and also being our Technical Director, Emmy Louise being our Treasurer and also looking after your memberships and Budgie Mullan our Secretary keeping us in line with the t’s crossed.
A lot of new rules and old ones had to be put in place to regain the “team” environment powerlifting used to have and create a level that both novice and elite alike would be treated the same with the awareness that the new lifters of today will be the elite of tomorrow. The admin has been massive, the initial setting up and the time taken to put everything in place have been exhausting and it is all done now so we can move forward and get on with not only being the UK affiliate to the WPC but just creating some flaming awesome lifting!
We have internationals lined up now for next year – as well as the European Championships for 2014 being in Baku, Azerbaijan which is going to be a seriously glittering affair, we also have the Border Wars Bench only WPC international sanctioned extravaganza in Detroit in July 2014 which has been a massive success since Joe Smolinski has run it – but next year the Brits are coming!!
We have the regional qualifiers in the North West/Midlands, one in Wales and there will be one in the South as well once a certain committee member gets his gym up and running!! We also have a bench comp in December in Scunthorpe and the list just goes on.
I’m not saying the move was easy, it certainly wasn’t. Being granted the WPC license was amazing and the opportunity to put in place the elements I was taught many years ago of fairness, promoting new lifters, trying to get cohesiveness back amongst the many federations and co-operation are the key elements I wanted to be the forefront of a federation as well as being run by a committee of lifters that STILL lift and remember what it is like to be up there.
One major point I want to raise is that we have a “no flaming” rule. Lifters don’t want to be dragged through the politics and blaming so often seen – they want to lift. Also, each federation and person is doing the best they can with the resources available to them and their own beliefs so we not and will also not tolerate lambasting of others which is massively detrimental to the sport and the integrity of the federation. Politics should stay with the federations but also with the opportunity for each member to have his or her say so that is why we are kicking off our British Championships kindly hosted by Alan Collins with his WPC UK Grand Prix with an AGM on the Saturday 31st August.
So here we go on the run up to the WPC Worlds and our qualifiers – good luck to everyone and take pride in the fact you up there lifting and being part of a very unique sport. Yes, I'm going to be lifting and going after another World Record on bench but I think its going to be Prague that myself and pretty much everyone else will have their eye on to bring home the Team Trophy and make this the beginning of the true British Team working together to take on the rest of the world.
See you in Folkestone
President – British Powerlifting Union