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25 Января 2011

Every year repeats the same situation: some athletes ask eagerly when the competition schedule for the year ahead will be provided; when the Statement of competition will be released, when the geography of the competition for masters will be expanded; why the competition of the world, European and national championships and international tournaments joins; why the competition includes a lot of nominations; why the time-limit in the nomination is reduced (less than 10 minutes)...?

Those athletes who take part regularly in the competitions of the International Confederation of Weightlifting Masters (ICWM), subscribe and read the «Weightlifting of Masters» journal, they know the answers to these questions. Here we give an explanation for beginners.

Working out the schedule of competitions

International sports organizations that are engaged in weightlifting of high achievements and rely on the national federations that have state accreditation, have no problems with working out the schedule. They have regional federations, government financing, the necessary equipment and inventory, own traditions and sponsors. It is another situation in the system of masters. The veteran movement is just being formed on a mass scale. Only at the end of 2008 the first and the only one in the world organization of weightlifting masters (veterans) was established. It has no government financing, support, sponsors and resource base. Only territorial branches are established, kettlebells of different weight are bought (there are no such in other federations). It was necessary to arrange a production of weights, electronic equipment, issue of medals to order ... In such circumstances it is impossible to work out a plan for the next calendar year. Athletes from some regions, first agree to hold the competitions for masters, then keep silent for a few months, finally, faced with real difficulties in the organizational process, refuse to be organizers of the competition.

Regions of the competition for masters

ICWM offers to hold the competition of any level for masters to the representatives of any region at their place. In this case, a written guarantee must be given to avoid the disruption of the competition. The fact that the current leadership of the All-Russian Weightlifting Federation (RWF) repeatedly falsify the election to the governing bodies of the federation (twice proven in court), strongly hinders from the development of weightlifting and trying to thwart the competition for masters. In this case, the letters containing false information on behalf of RWF are sent to the authorities of the administration, prosecution. In such circumstances, not all regions are able to defend the interests of weightlifting. The ICWM bodies in Arkhangelsk and Kirov regions have already proved that they are able to resist criminals in weightlifting sports and will not allow to break the competition for masters. The Moscow region has already joined to these regions, other ones are also ready to do it. Therefore, the geography of the competition for masters will gradually expand.

The time-limit of the exercises

ICWM was founded specifically for sport masters (veterans). Therefore, it should take into account the peculiarities of older people’s physique. It is not only the differentiation of weights (weight reduction of kettlebells with the age increasing of athletes), but also a real time-limit. So, just to stand with weights during 10 minutes is a huge load on the body, and to lift them during 10 minutes is unhealthy for an athlete. We know that in athletics or swimming (100 and 200-meter distance) the qualifying starts existed. Athletes start two or three times until the final. In the marathon disciplines there are no qualifying starts. After the sprint athletes recover quickly. After the marathon it is required 2-3 weeks to recover. In weightlifting sports it is required 7 days and more for age-related athlete after a 10-minute time-limit for a full recovery. The older the athlete, the longer period for the recovery. Sprint (2 minutes), supersprint (1 minute) allow to recover for 1-2 hours. It depends on a rate of the exercise. An athlete himself chooses the rate, according to his abilities. In addition, ICWM does not do anything without consulting with athletes. ICWM is the organization established for athletes and for their needs. ICWM held a sociological interview among athletes taking part in the competitions for weightlifting masters constantly. According to its result 97% of the athletes are for the reducing of time-limit twice.

A variety of nominations

Weightlifting sports was in difficult and glorious way in its development. The rules of competition, the exercises and their time-limit were changed. It is right and natural. Research in this direction has stopped recently, that impoverishes the weightlifting, which has enormous potential. Athletes-weightlifters, as well as athletes, skiers, swimmers, because of different genetic constitution are predisposed to a marathon, middle distance, sprint, supersprint. In other kinds of sports it is taken into account, not in weightlifting. Why? It is because of the inertia of thinking. ICWM for the first time in weightlifting has taken into account these features of different people – introduced sprint, supersprint to the weightlifting competition program.

Joining the world, European, national championships and international tournaments to single competitions,

Athletes-veterans don’t have state financing, regular sponsorship donations. Most of them are pensioners, and the pensions in the countries of former Soviet Union are very modest. They have to scrape the bottom of the barrel a whole year. Most athletes can afford to take part in the competition no more than 1-2 times a year. There are a lot of outstanding masters among them. These athletes must have an opportunity to participate in world, European, national championships every year. Because, veterans can not wait for a "bright future". There is no time for them, and that future may not come. Therefore ICWM includes the nominations of the world, European, national championships, international tournament to single competition. A variety of nominations, taking into account the specificity of different people and time-limit of the exercises that allows recover quickly and participate in several categories are introduced. Worthy medals are made to order, which the athletes and their relatives can be proud of.

Not everyone is able to understand the arrangement specific and holding the weightlifting competitions for masters. We must have the ability to see beyond the outer shape the essence of matter for that, and to love weightlifting, but not ourselves in it.

Anatoly Ezhov

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