The United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) weightlifting team is extending their club membership to the people of the community that are interested in training for the sport.
Vance Newgard, head coach for the USOEC weightlifting team, said this is a good change for the weightlifting club and hopes to continue to gain new club members outside of NMU.
“We have kind of always had a club team, and we wanted to make it more official and promote it and make the community more involved within the education center and weightlifting community,” Newgard said.
Although their training is based on Olympic weightlifting, members do not have to have a background in Olympic-style lifting. While training, athletes will usually perform variations of snatches, clean and jerks, squats, presses and jumping.
New members will receive assistance during training from Newgard and other athletes on the weightlifting team.
According to Newgard, weightlifting is a good complimentary workout for those who are involved with sports.
The training program can be altered to the individual needs of members to help them improve their performance in other sports.
Club members will have the chance to compete in local and national events, depending on their age.
High school weightlifters will have the opportunity to qualify for Youth Nationals and can also compete to make the Youth World Team. College weightlifters will have the opportunity to compete in Junior Nationals, Senior Nationals and University Nationals.
“I will enter them as a team if I have enough athletes competing in a given event,” Newgard said.
Many of the high school-age club members compete in other sports such as gymnastics, volleyball and wrestling.
Dinele Stewart, a sophomore at Marquette Senior High School, was encouraged to join the club to get stronger for gymnastics.
“My sister and I joined six months ago because our gymnastics coach said we would be good at it,” Stewart said. “We ended up both liking it a lot and met a lot of great people from joining.”
Jeffery Everson, graduate student at NMU and in his second year of weightlifting on the USOEC team, hopes the new members will gain a love for the sport and the style involved with the competition movements.
Now having acquired his USA Level 1 coach certification, Everson claims that since being a weightlifter, he has improved in both his physical and mental strength as well as discipline in weight training overall.
“I feel like getting the community involved will help bring more attention to the sport, and hopefully get more athletes in training,” Everson said. “I think new members will really gain a respect for the sport and themselves based on the amount of training and dedication involved to become even moderately good at the lifts.”
Everson encourages people who are interested to stop by and observe the club team practice and also to talk with the coach and athletes.
Training for the weightlifting club is at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at 1 p.m. on Saturdays in the weightlifting gym located in the Superior Dome. Membership is open to all ages.
Registration fees are $70 for one NMU semester or $130 for two semesters. Members will also be registered with USA Weightlifting and that cost will be deducted from the club membership for the first year if you purchase a two semester membership.
The fee for the membership will go towards the funding for new equipment that the club needs for the gym.
For more information on the NMU Weightlifting Club, you can go to www.nmu.edu/sportsusoec, visit Room 126 in the PEIF or call Coach Newgard at (906) 251-8567.