The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and World Para Powerlifting Organization (WPPO) announced on Oct. 1, 2020, that the two groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding (or MoU). By doing so, both organizations hope to strengthen their ties and benefit one another in a few key areas in an effort to raise awareness of the sport.
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The agreement is called “Strengthening the World,” and will see the IWF and World Para Powerlifting collaborate in three areas, or, as the press release refers to them, “attempts.” Attempt one is competition, attempt 2 is education, and attempt three will focus on anti-doping strategies.
“Building a working relationship with the World Para Powerlifting Organization is a logical step as we look to collaborate with our Paralympic cousins and see commonalities between our organizations especially at major Games events,” IWF interim President Ursula Garza Papandrea said in the official press release.
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The sport of Para Powerlifting measures the strength of lifters by having them bench press as much weight as possible. World Para Powerlifting, which is under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee, is in “nearly 100 countries over the world” and has been a part of the Paralympic games since 1984, according to IPC President Andrew Parsons.
In July of 2020, World Para Powerlifting signed an MoU with BarBend to be the official media partner of the WPPO. Now, theWPPO has teamed up with the IWF to share knowledge on accessibility standards to raise awareness of both sports.
Currently, the Paralympic Games feature 28 sports. Powerlifting is the only one that involves a barbell, and this new Memorandum of Understanding signals that may not be the case for much longer.
“This agreement represents a historic moment for Para powerlifting, as it will allow us to intensify our cooperation with a crucial partner fr the development of our sport,” Head of World Para Powerlifting Jorge Moreno, said in the press release. “I would like to thank the IWF for their support, as I am sure that, together, we will be strengthening the world.”
Feature image from @parapowerlifting on Instagram