The University of Zululand (UNIZULU) is thrilled to announce that it is the official host of the World Power Congress South Africa National Powerlifting Championships 2022 taking place from 26 to 27 August 2022 at the Richards Bay Campus.
Powerlifting is an international sport which involves moving massive amounts of weight in hi-tech supportive gear that protects against injury. In this sport, athletes (men and women from ages 14 to 80) compete against the force of iron as well as other athletes in given age groups and weight categories. Weight categories start from 44kg in the women’s class and end in the men’s over 125kg class (unlimited). The powerlifting athlete competes in three specific disciplines, each designed to measure different areas of human strength. The sum or total of the best lift in each discipline determines the winner.
This unique sport is practised in close to one hundred countries on all continents. The first powerlifting competitions started in the early 1960s. Powerlifting has a steady growth and at present there are over 500 000 athletes. The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) governs all competitions in ninety-two member nations.
The Department of Human Movement Science (HMS) within the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (FSAE) at the Richards Bay Campus is eager to be part of this exceptional event.
Explaining how the institution came to be hosts of this event, Dr Chantell Gouws, a lecturer in HMS, said she was approached by one of the organisers of the championships, who appealed for assistance and sponsorship. “I approached the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering Professor Khoboso Lehloenya and asked for permission to host the event at the University. I then wrote a motivation which was approved. I offered our students to be general assistants during the competition. This competition presented a perfect opportunity for the Sport and Exercise Technology students to put all the information that they have learned over the last three years into practice,” explained Dr Gouws.
The director of the Richards Bay Campus, Professor George Moyo, expressed happiness and pride in having the opportunity to host this year’s championships. He highlighted that it was a both an honour and privilege to host an international event of this magnitude. “I have no doubt that the event will go down as a notable milestone in the history of UNIZULU. Over the two-day period the Human Movement Science Department, and indeed the entire campus, will showcase its hospitality and a teaching and learning environment that ranks among the celebrated in the country,” enthused Prof Moyo.
In addition, the director invited the members of the public to enjoy the ambiance that goes with a modern institution of learning such as the Richards Bay Campus. “To the competitors, we have deployed a comprehensive support system that will ensure that you perform to the best of your abilities without any unnecessary impediments,” he assured.
In Prof Lehloenya’s opinion, hosting this “prestigious event” will not only highlight South African powerlifting athletes but also the profile of reputable academics in sports science that UNIZULU has in HMS.
As a way of enticing the public, Dr Gouws said there will be amazing athletes performing at their absolute best, records being broken, and communities coming together to support and promote sport. More than anything, the lecturer said she was looking forward to her students experiencing this event and learning from it.
- Precious Shamase