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Educational Gymnastics in Britain A popular conception of gymnastics today is of young girls in sparkly leotards with hair kept up in tightly bound buns.  This is a relatively new concept, with gymnastics originally being an all-male outdoor pursuit. Gymnastics has originated from several different sources, but all had the underlying principle of healthy movement. […]

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Open letter to British Weight Lifting

Open letter to the Chief Executive of British Weight Lifting

weight lifting club devon

Excelsior ADC

Dear Mr Metcalfe,

I am writing to you on behalf of my club members who have concerns and questions about what BWL is doing and what benefits they would get if they join and what the club gets from its membership.

Excelsior Athletic Development Club (Excelsior ADC) has been running weight lifting sessions for over 3 years now. We are the only affiliated club in the South West outside of Bristol. We have about 20 members lifting weekly with many more coming on an irregular basis. Our Sport England funded outreach programme “Love to Lift” reached an additional 40 females last year.

We have 3 main concerns:

  1. What do we get as a licensed club that non-licensed clubs don’t get? An example was the recent Technical Official (TO) package that was sent out on social media by BWL. This excellent package was not offered to clubs first. We have asked for TO training courses for over 2 years now. First with David Gent, then with Rich Kite. Why wasn’t this package offered to clubs first, to either host, or to get first take up? I spoke to the person who organised it who had no idea that our club existed, or that we were looking to hold a course.


  1. As a fully licensed level 2 coach, I am able to go into the lifters area at competition to coach our lifters. However, due to the lack of technical officials, this rule is hardly enforced at local competitions. At the Bristol Competition in November there were many people bimbling in and out, including a golf coach who wanted to see what was going on! If BWL is going to make every coach jump through expensive hoops, then the rules had better be enforced, and competition organisers given relevant support (i.e. TO training).


  1. Is BWL there to support the clubs, or to use them as a revenue stream? The plethora of courses that are being marketed are both confusing and expensive. I have been tutoring 1st4sport courses for over 10 years, and the BWL courses are the most expensive, with the least content.  At the moment joining BWL and entering a competition are very expensive for someone starting out. It is a major barrier to participation.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst ‘s motto when I was there in 1989 was “Serve to Lead”. We were constantly reminded that our job as potential officers was to look after the men in our command. BWL would do well to think about this and look after the clubs and members first, then look to target outside people second.

Our club members would like an answer to these questions please.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

James Marshall.

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