by Tamera Francis
THE Whitsunday Weightlifters hosted their first ever power and Olympic lifting competition at the weekend.
President of the club Leanne Knox said months of planning allowed them to host the competition at St Catherine's College.
Hours of preparation was put in by the competitors and club who even hand-made the wooden stages that the competition took place on.
The four members of the club who attained their official referee licence for the sport have enabled the region with the capacity to host such an event.
Whitsunday Weightlifters member Nathan Sainsbury said meeting the requirements of having three qualified refs in the area means the competition is nationally and internationally recognised.
"Competitors from Townsville and Ayr travelled to compete, the camaraderie and encouragement backstage is amazing everyone just wants the best from each other,” Sainsbury said.
The best overall powerlifters on the day were Meghan Travato for the women's competition and Ross Rickairds for the men.
Jesse Gloster, Rod Weiker, Adam Warnock, Andrew Jolley, Bruce Court, Mick O'Mara and Trent Cains were awarded medals for their powerlifting placings on the day.
Olympic lifting started shortly after the powerlifting, with a great turnout of competitors aged from under tens to seniors.
In first place for the under-10s Olympic lifters' was Ethan Haratsis, followed by second place Fedor Roganov and third place Abbie Green - all locals and part of the Whitsunday Weightlifting teams.
Whitsunday weightlifter Lilly Poles won first place in the U15s Olympic competition.
Mackay weightlifter Dillon Fisler took out first place for the U17s Olympic lifting category.
For the seniors Olympic competition, Darcy Kay from Townsville Barbell for the females and Corey Smith from Bounce Weightlifting took out first place for the males.
The next big event on the weightlifting calendar is the North Queensland Games, held across the weekend of May 5-6.