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UCOL weightlifters join referee ranks

By UCOL on Tuesday, 17 July 2018

A photograph of the members of UCOL's weightlifting club taken July 2018

Hosting competitions is a long term goal for UCOL’s Weightlifting Club, after members recently passed their first referees’ exam.

UCOL Exercise and Wellness Lecturers Hayden Pritchard and Janell Kiriona, along with Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science students Vikas Nautiyal, George Williams, Jacqueline Bismark, and Jack Langmead all passed the International Weightlifting Federation Technical Officials’ Examination. 

This means they are now registered Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand Level 2 referees, and can officiate club competitions. 

Club Coach Hayden Pritchard says he wanted members to get their referees registration to gain a better understanding of competition rules.

“It’s all well and good to trust your coach, but there might be times when I can’t be there. This means others in the club can step into that coaching role during competitions. In competition, a little mistake can cost you, so it’s good for the team to have that knowledge.”

“Refereeing also gives people who can’t lift, or just want to be involved, another opportunity.”

Hayden says having local referees can open up the opportunity to host competitions. He is encouraging team members to progress to Level 1 referee status to give the club the ability to host more meaningful competitions. 

“There needs to be two Level 1 national referees present for the results to be accepted for national rankings and qualifications. We don’t have that at the moment, so we have to travel out of town for competitions. The goal is to get to a point where we can host our own competitions.”  

Hayden says having club members become referees is all part of growing the sport locally. Recently, Auckland-based New Zealand team coach, and national referee, Richard Wong (of Functional Strength CrossFit)has been mentoring Hayden and the club. Hayden hopes for club members to reach that national level. 

“We don’t have any coaches at that level in Palmerston North, so we are taking up the mantle and growing the sport here.”

Janell Kiriona and Jack Langmead were able to put their new knowledge to the test, when they helped coach teammates Hayden Pritchard and Corrie Keedle at the recent North Island Championships. Corrie placed fourth in the Women’s 58kg category, while Hayden was fifth in the 85kg Men’s category. 

Hayden says, “We would like to thank Richard Wong, as well as Chris Gibbs  from Upper Hutt Weightlifting Club, for their mentoring during the North Island Championships.”