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Volunteers Week: Technical Official Insight with Alex Phillips

This Volunteers Week is a time to say thanks and recognise the contribution of volunteers to communities during coronavirus and thank those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of the pandemic.

We spoke to Weightlifting Scotland Competitions Manager Alex Phillips to get his insight on the benefits of volunteering within the weightlifting community.

Volunteers Week:  Technical Official Insight with Alex Phillips

How did you initially get involved in the sport?   

“I initially went to Pitlochry weightlifting club to do some weight training to strengthen my arms and shoulders to help with my golf and was persuaded to try weightlifting by Aya Thorne. This was in 1982 and I have been lifting ever since.”

What do you enjoy most about weightlifting?  

“I enjoy the camaraderie among my fellow competitors and officials at competitions and I have missed that a lot during this lockdown.”

What do you think are the main benefits of volunteering?   

“The main benefit of volunteering is the opportunity to put something back into the sport. Remember that without the volunteers at our competitions that load the bar and officiate the lifts the competitions would not take place.”

How have you found the virtual competitions and webinars?  

“The virtual competitions have been fine to keep our lifters who have been able to train something to compete for but they are still not the same as a normal competition.”

What are you most looking forward to weightlifting-wise after lockdown restrictions ease?    

“I’m looking forward to being able to just walk into a gym without having to check your temperature and wear a mask.”

In terms of BWL events what would you like to see more of in the future?  

“A separate British masters and British schools’ competition instead of holding them at the same event as the British seniors.”

What advice would you give to someone who was new to the sport, but wanted to get more involved?   

“I would advise anyone new to the sport to get involved by helping out at competitions either by helping with loading the bar or sitting a referee’s exam.

“It would be nice to see the average age of referees at a British championship go below 40, instead of being closer to 60.”

You can also check out our Technical Official spotlight earlier this week with Weightlifting Scotland’s Technical Official Liaison Richard Tawse here.


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