#SportSpotlight – Weightlifting
Mention ‘Weightlifting’ to most people, and they think bench pressing, deadlifts, and bicep curls. Put ‘Olympic’ at the front of it, and you can see their brains reprocessing the information, but often still not quite able to define it.
Olympic Weightlifting involves lifting a weighted bar over the head two different ways: the snatch (in one fluid movement) and the clean and jerk (in two separate movements, resting the bar on one’s shoulders in between).
One misconception about the sport is that it targets bigger athletes. However, there are nine weight classes at high school level for competitors under 55kg up to 102+kg, making it accessible to all. Another misconception is that taking the sport will stunt growth.
A similar kind of logic might lead people to assume that playing basketball will make them tall. Many weightlifters have shorter frames – or at least shorter legs – because the aim is to get a bar from the ground to overhead, and stockier legs offer an advantage over longer legs. Good coaching is about ensuring good technique before adding weight.
As there are no registered weightlifting coaches at Auckland Grammar School, the School has a long-standing partnership with the Elevation Weightlifting club in Gillies Avenue. The squad trains there in the mornings, and competes in club competitions throughout the year. The two big school competitions are the Auckland Secondary Schools Championships, held in April, and the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in September. The Auckland Grammar School’s squad placed second at last year’s Nationals.
The sport is great in its own right, but also complementary to other sports, particularly aiding with flexibility, balance, and dynamic power for rugby and athletics field events. Competitors of all ages and all body weights are welcome.
If students are interested in joining the team or finding out more, they can talk with Master in Charge C. Laing in the English department during the School day.