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PinnacleWeightlifting Building a Community

Sept. 01, 2019, 12 p.m. (ET)

Community outreach is one of the most important things we can do in our communities.  How do you get involved in your community and use this involvement to grow weightlifting?  

There are several ways you can increase awareness in your community.  Some of the things that we have done include, partnering with a free online public school to provide a weightlifting program as well as strength and conditioning for athletes in other sports.  This program is called Global Sports and is open to kids 6-12th grade.  It provides the students some funding to travel to National level events such as Junior Nationals and Youth Nationals.  We can also provide funding for students in other sports as well.  Currently, we have students in weightlifting, wrestling, ballet and boxing to name a few.  This program allows students to learn online and have the flexibility to work on their academics anytime, anywhere and at their own pace while training for their sport.  The biggest challenge we have had thus far is reaching kids that are interested in joining the program.  Our school is statewide however, there are only two sites for weightlifting currently in Colorado so this limits the number of students that we can service.  I have several students that commute from Denver to Colorado Springs for training multiple times per week.  It is going to take some time to build this program.  We had six kids compete at Youth Nationals last year and we should continue to grow every year as we build up this program.

In addition, we offer free weightlifting camps for ages 12-18.  We run several a year and this allows kids to try weightlifting and see if it is something that they might like to try.  We advertise through other sports groups around the city.  Social media is also a good way to help promote your programs and events.  It is fairly easy to run these camps we typically do 2 days for 2 hours to introduce the movements.  We have also partnered with local rugby programs to provide strength and conditioning training.  Again this brings kids into our facility gets kids in front of us.  After Rugby season we typically have several kids that come in and start training full time.  We also have our logo on their game Jersey’s so this gets us out there as well.  In addition, I run several large weightlifting competitions every year.  Typically the Rocky Mountain State Games has around 120 participants and the Colorado State Championships had about 160 last years.  These large events bring many people into our facility and families and friends get to see weightlifting first hand, which builds interest in our sport.  

As far as unsuccessful programs, we never have great luck with the Try Weightlifting for a day event.  For this event to be successful we need to reach beyond the people that are already training and competing in weightlifting.  We have used social media to get the word out for this event but are still struggling to get more than a few people to show up every year.

As far as a future program, we have been working for quite a while trying to establish a weightlifting club at the Air Force Academy.  We have many challenges in moving this endeavor forward.  The main one is just the bureaucracy of the Military Academy. We would also like to start tapping into some of the high schools in the local area. The biggest issues we are having are getting the right contacts and logistics.  We would like to reach out to some high school sports coaches and athletic directors to see if these clubs can be possible. 

My biggest piece of advice in starting community outreach programs is that you need to be flexible and resourceful.  It is really easy to be discouraged but if you have an action plan and just keep plugging away at the action items you will be successful. 

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me.

Jackie Black
Pinnacle Weightlifting