Coach and participants hope that successful program that is helping athletes to condition and focus continues to grow.
Every day after school, if you stroll over to Dougherty Hall and check out the weight room, you’ll see a room filled with Friars trying to get #swole. But it didn’t always used to be this way.
Since 2012, Malvern has gone from having a four student weightlifting class, to having over 100 students participate in regional meets, all coordinated through the Olympic Weightlifting program and Director of Strength and Conditioning Mr. Erik Miller.
In the spring of 2012, Miller held an olympic weightlifting class that consisted of 3-4 students, and only one of the students competed in a meet.
“I ran the course, and the final was to compete in a meet, and one of those kids in that group qualified for Nationals in his first meet,” Miller said.
The following summer, Miller decided to make an effort to expand the program, and so he began to offer free weightlifting classes 3 days a week during the summer. The summer began with two or three kids, and by the end, it expanded to 12 kids. By the following October, there were over 25 kids lifting and competing in meets.
“I would say over 4 years, we’ve had at least 100 kids compete in a meet,” Miller said. “It’s been that type of steady, consistent growth.”
Mr. Miller hopes that the success of the weightlifting program continues over the next few years and hopes that he can find more students who want to get stronger and compete in the regional meets.
Sophomore Patrick Sayers has been a member of the weightlifting program since freshman year and has loved his decision to sign up.
“When I was going into freshman year here at Malvern, I was like ‘Oh, I’m not so doing a single physical activity, that probably isn’t a good idea.’ So, I joined the team and it turns out exercise is fun.”
Sayers also said joining the team has helped him become stronger and is a haven for him to clear his mind after a stressful day.
“Thanks to Olympic lifting, I actually hold some modicum of strength, whereas in 8th grade I was at least the 2nd most unathletic kid in the grade,” Sayers said.
Sophomore Joe Basiura also said that the weightlifting team has helped him in more ways than one.
“Joining the team helped me get in great shape, while at the same time meeting new people and making friends,” he said.
The weightlifting program is ever-growing and is looking for anybody willing to join, from the athletes looking for somewhere else to compete, to someone just looking to blow off steam after a long day.