On Saturday, September 4th, 2021, this year's Lower Saxony state championship in weightlifting took place in Braunschweig. Weightlifting is one of the oldest sports, provides incredibly strong athletes for the Olympics and ultimately increases the strength and technique of every athlete in a very short time. But compared to other sports, weightlifting is something that doesn't enjoy the greatest publicity. Wrongly so, in our opinion. Exactly for this reason we would like to look back on 04.09. dare and give you an understanding of how a weightlifting competition works and which battles have to be fought during Corona. We bring you information directly from where the pulse of the iron lies, namely from Hien Nguyen, vice president of the Lower Saxony Weightlifting Association and board member of the Verein für Volkssport Braunschweig v. 1898 registered associationSo: keep your eyes and ears open for a little insight into the world of clean and jerks!
In the beginning there were difficulties:Normally, all participants from northern Germany are entitled to participate in the national weightlifting championships in order to measure each other. This is where the principle of national competitions comes into play. However, due to local regulations, the call for entries and participation remained at state level this year. So by far not all athletes who could have appeared were in Braunschweig. The fact that a loyal community of fans and athletes has developed can be seen from the fact that 19 women and 34 men traveled to Braunschweig with their support team and fan club to take part in the event. These included children from the age of 8 or Masters athletes aged 82. Weightlifting keeps you healthy to an extent that other sports could learn a lot from. In our opinion, anyone who still dares to lift the bar at such a young or advanced age has already earned all the respect in the world.
Relaxation after Corona:
When asked how the first real competition felt after massive restrictions caused by the virus, Hien answered us unexpectedly emotionally, but also impressively honestly:
"After a 1.5-year corona break from competitions, for many participants this was the first national weightlifting competition in Lower Saxony since March 2020 or even the very first competition in this sport. (Editor's note: Apparently, the lockdown wasn't a reason for every one of our weekend warriors to take it easy.)
The nervousness and tension could be seen in both the long-established and the newcomers. It's understandable when suddenly hundreds of looks are directed at you as an athlete on stage and you only have three chances to get the best out of yourself. In those few seconds everything you have worked for months counts.”
Question: The next step after the national championship?“The goal for many, in addition to winning the class, was of course the performance and qualification for the German Active Championship in December or the dress rehearsal for the German Masters Championship in September. For the active (over 21s) and juniors (under 21s), the state championship was one of three competitions this year in which the athletes can still achieve the norm for the DM.
Despite the hygiene requirements and distance regulations, all athletes, supervisors and guests felt the event was a successful start to the winter season.”
Question: How did planning and organization go? Location, sponsors, registrations etc.?
“Planning had to be more flexible than in previous years. Due to the dynamic situation in dealing with corona measures and regulations, it was difficult to specify the hygiene concept in advance. A lot of initiative and self-responsibility is necessary, since there is no support from the authorities and dealing with current regulations, and the registration deadline for the event was open until two weeks before the event. So we had to be prepared for changes at all times, as the field of participants changed until shortly before the end.
What was certain was the location, after consultation with our landlord we were able to rent the entire hall in addition to our training area. With a seven meter high roller door and two floors, we naturally had optimal conditions for the hygiene concept in terms of fresh air supply and in terms of distance rules, since we were able to distribute people to the "box seats".
This year was the first time in many years that we were able to award prizes to our participants at a championship in organized sport. I am very grateful that with the help of the sponsors we can give a contribution back to the athletes and that interest in sports is growing.
Accordingly, I would like to thank the WodStore and LiftHeavy for the donations in kind for the training needs, as well as for the media support of FiftyOneFortyNine.
Every athlete looks forward to taking things with them that support their ongoing training and every athlete looks forward to having great memories captured after the competition without having to do it themselves."
Question: Looking back, how did the event go?
"We received a lot of positive feedback. Despite the ubiquitous corona situation, all athletes found the event to be a consistently successful competition, especially because of the prizes. In my opinion, at the end of the day you are happy that you are offering people a great event and all work before & during the event slips into the background. What counts are the event and the community."
Question: future of sport?
"Sport has a lot of potential, especially due to the social focus on more health & fitness in recent years. If you consider that we had athletes aged 8-82 with us, this refutes the prejudices with which the sport It's also important to be clear that resources in weightlifting are often limited, which severely limits growth potential. You often have to go through doorsteps and ask for support, whether it's from city agencies or grant funds but also this knocking on doorsteps for little support. I am all the more pleased that there is so much support and feedback from the CrossFit scene to make the sport more modern and popular. In the end, we were only able to give so much to the athletes through sponsors give athletes back."
Question: next event?
"We are planning a commemorative tournament in November (if Corona doesn't thwart our plans), in honor of our deceased association president Arno Charnowski, on November 20, 2021. It is planned to announce this nationwide and also as a last chance to qualify for the German Championship."
Thanks for this input, Hien Nguyen .