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International seminar and roundtable in Chile

“Perspectives of Weightlifting at School, University and Military Sector”

Within the context of the II South American Youth Sports Games, Santiago de Chile 2017, the seminar and round table “Perspectives of Weightlifting at School, University and Military Sector” was held on the 4th, 5th and 6th of October in the Pierre de Coubertin Hall of the Chilean Olympic Committee.

Delegates from different South American federations, Chilean federations of other sports and the Chilean Olympic Committee attended.

This activity is part of the IWF Development Program through the South American Confederation of Weightlifting (CSLP); and was jointly organized by the Chilean Weightlifting Federation (FECHIPE) and the Universidad Santo Tomás.

The inauguration was given by Mr. José Quiñonez, President of the South American Confederation of Weightlifting, addressing the relevance of Weightlifting at School, University and Military Sector, that shall be done with experts from each specific sector in order to learn from each experience. Then the Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences of the Universidad Santo Tomás, Rodrigo Alvarado, expressed his interest in linking the University with federated sports, either in theoretical or practical activities. Finally, the President of the Chilean Federation Italo Barattini emphasized on joining forces in caring out such activity while strengthening it and make such initiative permanent.

Each of the three days included roundtable discussions where the representatives of the different countries were able to contrast their realities with the Chilean one. The aim was to improve the presence of weightlifting in South America.

The first day the National Coordinator of Physical Activity of the Ministry of Education of Chile Patricio Venegas presented the way in which this Ministry relates to sport, emphasizing how sport helps the physical and mental health of students.

During the discussions, representatives from Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay took the floor to present similarities and differences regarding their countries, addressing specific themes such as:

  • Age of onset
  • Insurance and medical care
  • National School Games
  • Sport and study
  • Flexibility of the study system
  • Alliance between the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Education and the Federation
  • Specific human resources
  • International examples

At local level, this activity served to link the Ministry of Education to the first National U12 Championships to be organized by FECHIPE for the first time on November 3-5.

In addition to snatch and clean and jerk, physical tests being of great interest of the ministry were included.

The second day featured presentations from Captain Ignacio Zamora and Coronel (R) Patricio Opazo, both of the Army Sports Federation, representing the National Defense Sports Confederation CODEFEN, organization formed by Army, Navy, Aviation and the Police.

They presented the structure of the armed forces sports and their development depending on the specific jobs of military people involved and the interest towards civilian sport.

FECHIPE invited the representatives of CODEFEN to send military sports instructors to participate in coaching courses to be held in the future.

Brazilian coach Carlos Aveiro (Saúl) made an excellent presentation about the specific project carried out in that country as part of the preparation for the Olympic Games.

During the roundtable the following topics were discussed among others:

  • Historical relationship between this sport (and sport in general) with the Armed Forces
  • Sports career and military career
  • Benefits for the Armed Forces that have high performance athletes
  • International experience and examples
  • World Military Games and Weightlifting
  • Weightlifting as a basis for other sports
  • Insurance and medical care

Special attention was paid to the link between weightlifters and military career with examples like Pyrros Dimas, Oscar Figueroa, and the military championships in the Dominican etc.

The intervention of the President of the Colombian Weightlifting Federation touched a sensitive topic. He sees a possibility of collaboration with the end of the armed conflict with the guerrillas in his country through sport, offering a possibility for development on both sides.

The third day was devoted to the relationship between sports and the University, starting with the presentation of the Executive Secretary of the Federation of University Sports FENAUDE of Chile Ricardo Peñailillo. He exposed the institutional structure and its relationship with weightlifting.

Emphasis was placed on the weak South American participation in international weightlifting university events, particularly in the last edition of the Universiade held in Taipei.

The following topics to strengthen the relationship with the authorities in the sector were also discussed:

  • Benefits and scholarships for university athletes
  • Scientific support for sport
  • Athlete’s career versus academic obligations
  • Coaching career
  • Quality control of processes
  • Benefits for universities that have high performance athletes
  • Insurance and medical care
  • International experience
  • World University and Universiade Championships

The 2019 South American University Games will be held in the city of Concepción, Chile, and FECHIPE is already working on the possibility to add weightlifting to the program.

Source: Italo Barattini, President FECIPE