by Tomas Cuddihy uploaded 4th Feburary 2014
On the eve of our first powerlifting competition of 2014 we can pause, reflect and look back. The year thirteen proved itself fortuitous for the IDFPA. 2013, lucky and liberating. Our membership grew three fold and is still growing. Team Ireland won first the best team at the Europeans held in Castleblayney and then World’s best team against strong, pardon the pun, opposition on their home turf. Scotland was kind to us.
Our female lifters came to the fore and led the charge. New young members reset the record books from the teen one division to the juniors. The first ever IDFPA intervarsity competition for student competitors was held successfully in Cork. Not to be outdone some of our prominent and long serving master lifters became the IDFPA’s inaugural Hall Of Famers. Our lifters have featured in newspaper articles and magazine articles and radio interviews and television features throughout the country and throughout the year of 2013. Amazing.
North and South united to lift well and excel in every competition entered. Articles by members began to appear on the new and revamped IDFPA website. Interviews with prominent lifters are now available for viewing on the IDFPA youtube site. The number of out of competition drug tests conducted has increased from the year previous to 2013. More referees for both national and international competition were trained in. A ranking system based on the Schwartz and Malone formulas was introduced.
The trend is upwards for 2014. New initiatives are planned. The ranking system will now allow for age to give older lifters a fair go. The idea of IDFPA qualified coaches has been mooted; more lifters are taking the equipped seriously, increased testing to keep the sport clean, a documentary on the IDFPA/WDFPF…the possibilities seem endless.
You will have your own stand out memories for 2013 whether it be an individual lift, lifter or competition. It could be the Hickey brothers coming to the fore to dominate the rankings. It could be the ladies of Ab’s gym in Dublin laying waste to the competition. It could be the CIT endearing themselves to all and sundry with their irrefutable charm. Whatever it is, a record here or a personal triumph there, more is in store for this coming year of contests.
The great thing about powerlifting, I’m sure you will agree, is the camaraderie. Your fiercest opponent on the platform is often the first to help and offer encouragement. I have seen rivals cheering each other on. Extolling each other to lift more and by doing so they make each other better lifters. The real triumph is often not in the trophy but in the PB you get by going beyond what you thought was possible for yourself. Friendships with lifters from other countries have been formed through powerlifting. We now have good buddies in England, Scotland, Belgium, Ukraine and even further afield. Long may it continue.
Powerlifting has given us the chance to reach out, to travel to places we might not otherwise have seen. It has given many a purpose, records to aim at, make the team, get stronger, get leaner, build the club, have fun with your fellow gym rats. It’s all good and not half bad.
What remains for me is to thank all those who joined the IDFPA and helped to build it. That means you, dear reader. I’m grateful to Tom Coyle for putting me forward as secretary. Tom puts in a lot of work organising, getting sponsorship, correcting the referee exams, helping the organisers of each competition. Indeed he organised and ran the hugely successful Europeans in 2013. He referees, does the scoring, answers all the unanswerable questions and has kept the IDFPA afloat in good times and in bad. A hall of fame legend, he has also promised to break a world deadlift record in 2014.
Thank you to the committee for all the work they have done. Our VP, surely the most handsome lifter on earth. Our record keepers and in particular Alan Kelly for the myriad good ideas he has come up with. He also edits our videos and helps in lots of other ways.
Andrew Scully and James O’ Connell for doing the hard but vital job that is testing. Thank you to the referees for doing what can often be a thankless job, but again a vital one. Thanks to Wim for always coming over and helping (i.e. running) events for us and for his online advice when we can’t answer a particular question. And last but certainly not least, Peter Lucey. Peter is the Roy Keane (without the bad attitude) of the IDFPA. The heartbeat of the team. The engine that drives us all forward. He has done sterling work with the facebook pages, website, PRO work, coaching, building CIT powerlifting, filming, photographing, encouraging, delegating…you name it and he has been it. Without Peter we would not be in the healthy, happy state we are now in.
Good luck with whatever you are aiming for in and from powerlifting during the year 2014. If it turns out to be half as lucky as 13 was for us then we are twice as blessed.
Lucky Number Thirteen
Tom is the current secretary of the IDFPA and Coach of the CIT Powerlifting Club in Cork
Tom holds multiple National Records, European and World titles and has been one of Irelands most consistent International Lifters of recent years.