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How can I get started in weightlifting?

Contact your local Weightlifting Club for session times and training information. It is important to train under the guidance of an accredited weightlifting coach.

At what age can children begin lifting?

Children as young as 9 can train and compete in local Club competitions and some State competitions. Young children don’t really start developing strong muscles before they reach puberty, so it’s very important to have realistic expectations of what can be achieved at a young age and to focus on skill  development and having fun. Children should always follow the guidance of an accredited Weightlifting Coach.

How much does it cost to join the SAWLA and what is included?

Athlete: Youth - (U17) $55

Athlete: Junior - (U20) $55

Athlete: Senior - $85

Coach & Official - $25

Associate Member: Supporter/Volunteer - $25


Membership includes SAWLA membership & insurance and capitation with the AWF.

Only current members can compete in official weightlifting events.


* For New Members, athlete fees will be calculated on a pro rata basis for athletes commencing membership part way through the year. See the Fee Schedule attached to the SAWLA Membership Form.


What other fees are involved?

Clubs usually charge training fees and some clubs may charge annual membership fees. These fees may vary and they are set by the individual clubs themselves. Ask your local club about their fee structure. Some competitions may require an entry fee. When you get to the National and International level, entry fees and travel may be required.

What equipment do I need for training?

A good pair of weightlifting shoes is recommended. You might want to consider things like wrist straps and knee sleeves and lifting suit, but these are not essential.

Do I have to be a member of a club to compete in a competition?

No. All SAWLA members are entitled to enter competitions, subject to the requirements of each event. If you are a member of a club affiliated to the SAWLA, you can compete under the banner of that club. You cannot compete under the banner of an organization that is not affiliated with SAWLA. For instance, if you train at XYZ Gym and XYZ GYM is not affiliated with SAWLA, then the space next to your name under the “Club” heading on competition scoreboards, results, etc, will be blank.

What do I have to wear in competition?

The dress requirements depend on the level of the competition. For Club Competitions and some State competitions, competitors can wear an outfit that conforms to the International rules, or they can wear a two-piece costume consisting of close-fitting shorts, plus a close-fitting T-shirt or singlet that covers the torso and does not cover the elbows. Shoes must always be worn.
For all National and International events, competitors must comply with the regulations of the International Weightlifting Federation, as follows:
Athletes must wear a weightlifting costume which complies with the fol­lowing criteria:

  • must be one piece
  • must be collarless
  • may be of any colour
  • must not cover the elbows
  • must not cover the knees

What age group am I in?

Under 15: competitors are Under 15 up until 1st January in the year that they turn 16 
ie if on Jan 1 of that year you were still 14 you are U15 

Youth (U17): competitors are Youth up until 1st January in the year that they turn 18
ie if on Jan 1 of that year you were still 16 you are U17 

Junior (U20): competitors are Junior up until 1st January in the year that they turn 21
ie if on Jan 1 of that year you were still 19 you are U20 

Senior/Open: competitors of any age 

Masters: competitors are Masters from 1st January in the year that they turn 35 (Note masters is different)
eg if during that year you turn 40 you are in the 40-44 category 

Masters Age Groups 35–39, 40–44, 45–49, 50–54, 55–59, 60–64, 65–69, 70–74, 75–79, 80+ 

Where can I find more information on coaching and/or referee courses?

Please check the Education page for the most current courses offered in South Australia.

Do weightlifters get drug tested?

Anyone of any age who competes in weightlifting can be tested at any time for the presence of prohibited substances.
In Australia, drug testing in sport is conducted by a Federal Government agency called the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
Athletes must comply with the testing procedure or face the prospect of registering an anti-doping rule violation for failing to comply. An anti-doping rule violation usually leads to a suspension from all organised sports, not just weightlifting, for up to two years.
Everyone who competes in organised sport should take extra care with things such as nutritional supplements and medicines. Some supplement products that are legally available to the general public may contain substances that are prohibited in sport; and some prescribed medicines may also be prohibited in sport.
For more information about anti-doping and prohibited substances, see the ASADA Website

Any tips or advice for 1st time competitors?

Have fun! Don't stress too much about "making weight". Here is a great article for 1st time competitors.

How do I warm up for competitions?

Ideally, your coach will take care of this for you. Here is a great article as well on warming up for competitions.

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