The sport of weightlifting is set to take off in Rotorua with Crossfit Rotorua becoming the town's first Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand (OWNZ) affiliated club.

Crossfit Rotorua owner Munro Waerea said Rotorua now had a platform to help the sport grow.

"We had to submit an application to OWNZ, just outlining our reasoning for wanting to be affiliated. It's the exposure and, apart from crossfit, there's no specific facility that provides a pathway for the sport of weightlifting in Rotorua.

"The potential here in Rotorua is massive, we've coached and trained up some pretty amazing individuals."


This weekend Crossfit Rotorua has four teenagers, Anja Jennings, Promyss Pitman, Jacob Rawles and Awanuiarangi Gardiner competing at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Olympic Weightlifting Championships.

"They've been turning heads at competition, just purely on how they're lifting - their technique, which is really, really great. There's a lot of technique, finesse, power and speed required to do well in weightlifting," Waerea said.

Had a practise run for our teens before we head upto Nationals next weekend. A wee bit different for our kids but...

Posted by CrossFit Rotorua on Friday, 24 August 2018

He said a lot of weightlifters became interested in the sport through crossfit.

"That's the great thing about crossfit, it's able to expose people to weightlifting and in turn has made weightlifting accessible. Otherwise it was a sport sort of left to the side, in the dark, because of how technical it is. It can be hard to coach.

"A good weightlifter needs patience and they have to be willing to learn. If you're willing to learn, you can go quite a long way, that's what we've seen. Of course, mobility is important to. Shoulder, hip, knees, those are all huge and there's a great deal of timing as well.

"It teaches young people patience and discipline, as well as how to co-ordinate their bodies."

Waerea wanted to see more of his athletes competing and in the long-run would like to host competitions in Rotorua.

"We'll go to a few competitions and see how they run, then next year we'll definitely hold some. Another reason we affiliated is because we wanted to broaden our own knowledge and make our coaches better.


"We encourage the weightlifters to keep doing Crossfit classes as well, it's important to be well rounded. There are a few who would like to do just weightlifting, but they know the conditioning part of crossfit is good for them.

"OWNZ were really good to deal with, they were stoked that another town without any affiliates was getting into it.