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When sports performances and environmental causes meet in Guadalajara

The organisers had announced it proudly: the 2023 edition of the IWF World Junior Championships, presently staged in Guadalajara, wouldn’t be limited to the great performances of the young lifters competing in Mexico. After the conclusion of the event, an important legacy would be associated with the competition: environmental protection. For that, various initiatives took place during the event, namely today’s planting of trees, in a space adjacent to the competition venue.


The idea is that each national delegation present in the capital of Jalisco would plant a tree, which will stay as a testimony of the sports world to the cause of ecology. The ceremony took place between the two A sessions of this fourth day of competition and happily mobilised the delegations competing in Mexico.

Secretary General Antonio Urso planting the IWF tree

The IWF had also its tree, with Secretary General Antonio Urso executing the task in a quick and efficient way. “It looks like I’m doing this for my entire life,” joked Mr Urso. On a more serious note, he emphasised the importance of this simple, yet very symbolic moment. “The organisers in Mexico had this brilliant idea and the IWF immediately supported it. It is a sign we are sending to affirm the social strength of sport to mobilise the citizens in Guadalajara to these essential causes”.


From the athletes’ side, the 44 national teams “played the game” and the lifters were happy to know that after their departure a tree will testify in the future their presence in Guadalajara in this month of November 2023. Among them, the team of El Salvador fought a bit to get its tree well planted: “We need to enlarge the hole, but we are strong people, we will make it”. Five minutes later, the tiny tree was finally solidly fixed in the land. From Japan, in a more discrete way, three members of the national team were also happy when they saw the successful outcome of their work.


The IWF President Mohammed Jalood has already left Mexico but had the opportunity to also be associated with this initiative, planting his tree in the first two days of the competition. 

From left to right: José Quiñones (President of the Pan-American Weightlifting Federation); Astrit Hasani (European Weightlifting Federation Treasurer); Mohammed Jalood (IWF President); Rosalio Alvarado (President of the Mexican Weightlifting Federation)

Besides the tree legacy, these Championships, held in a huge sportive infrastructure (comprising for example a velodrome and a swimming and diving facility), also provided electrical buses for the transport of the teams and facilitated the installation of brand new public trash bins, each aimed at recycling a specific kind of material. 

It is worth noting that this project is part of the agreement signed between the Pan-American Weightlifting Federation and the United Nations – “Sports for Climate Action” -, aimed at contributing to the fight against global warming through concrete initiatives within the frame of sports organisations. 

IWF Communications