The new calendar and regional set up will open up more spots for newer lifters to join the IPF in 2017. In addition more competitions have been added to the calender with double the admin staff to help run them. National squad members are not required to compete at regional level which will also open up a further 25-30 places, the equivalent to half a competition.
We also plan to hold our first full day referees exam this year which will give the federation an extra 20 referees (if they pass) and free up more admin staff.
The National team is now established but is still in its early days of development. We currently have a lot of junior lifters coming through that should challenge for international medals in the next 3-4 years. Our open team is at around 60% where I would like it to be with some weight classes highly more competitive than others. Ideally I would love to see 2-3 lifters in each class battling it out for the best international competitions. This is already starting to happen.
Post Texas our national team will be selected on squad members performances at European and World Championship level, instead of weight class winners.
This will ensure our best team competes giving Ireland the best possible chance of medaling and scoring the most points. It will also stop lifters from potentially moving into a less competitive weight class to get a spot at a championship.
National Open team standards will continue to grow to ensure the quality of the national squad keeps improving. This will also ensure overall squad numbers stay low.
I believe that only a small percentage of lifters should be considered as international athletes and by adding such a high standards only the best and those who have worked hardest will have that opportunity to call themselves by that title.
We are yet to have a master lifter make national team standard and join the squad. The General membership age of our federation is very young which is a great sign for the future. I have been keeping an eye on our current crop of master lifters and spoke to new ones joining our federation and believe this will not be the case come next years World Championships.
Regional Set Up
The new regional set up will be the heart of the IrishPF and a production line for international lifters. The following coaches Sean Ryan, Arthur Lynch and James Hanley will head up their respected regions with West joining at a later date.
The regional squads will help develop lifters from good to very good lifters with the help from their head coaches and support staff. The long term goal will be to offer a competitive structure as well as help with technique and programming.
This model will also be introduced to the National squad. All Regional coaches will go through the IPF international coaching license and eventually assistant coaches.
IrishPF Head Coach & General Secretary