Some exciting things have been happening over in Zimbabwe the past few weeks! Our Team Member Nicola Paviglianiti was hard at work on the ground, spreading the power of powerlifting and working on Lift4Life projects.
The adventure started out when local Zimbabwe lifter Audrey Svongwa competed at the African Arnold Classic in Johannesburg. She is a sponsored athlete under Meep Squad, and went 9/9 at her first official international meet! You can read more about her experience here.
An entire suitcase of powerlifting equipment was donated to Zimbabwe thanks to Inner Strength Products in Canada, as well as lifters that generously pitched in items. Singlets, shoes, wraps, knee sleeves, and dozens of lifting items have been strategically distributed to lifters in need that could benefit from the items.
On June 3rd, a Lift4Life bench, squat rack, and bar were donated to the community of Epworth in Harare. We are so excited to begin supporting sustainable powerlifting initiatives in this community, and the equipment donation was kicked off with a mini learn to lift powerlifting meet!
This powerlifting meet was magical, with 24 lifters from all over Harare attending. There were 4 females, and 20 males ranging from 10 years old to 38! Canadian lifters Nicola Paviglianiti and Ben Langley participated, providing extra learning and inspiration for the lifters and spectators. At the meet, 2 scholarships were given out to the Best Female Junior Lifter & Best Male Junior Lifter. These scholarships were generously sponsored by our Lift4Life Partner The Strength Guys, and more about Kelly and Isaac the youth recipients can be found here.
There is more than meets the eye in a power of a local powerlifting. By having females participate gender barriers are broken, health, physical activity, and staying active is promoted, a drug free life style is emphasized as a drug free sport, community support is fostered and built, This powerlifting meet provided employment through the transport of equipment, providing business to local shops, as well as the hiring of a local photographer. Livelihood opportunities are particularly important in the context of Zimbabwe, where the unemployment rate is upwards of 95% and many are struggling to make ends meet.
Our welder Maforo is currently hard at work building our next set of equipment! The bench and squat rack are set to be completed by the end of June. Maforo lives in the community of Glen Norah, and is very talented with what he does. He works in a humble little workshop with minimal equipment and Lift4Life is very excited to be able to support him. A big thank you to our official partners for their monthly donations that have been put towards making this equipment happen, as well as the Calgary Women of Steel Lift4Life fundraiser hosted at The Strength Edge. We are always looking for collaborations with motivated individuals and organizations! Fill out this form if you are interested in working with us or partnering.
Maforo is our local welder in Zimbabwe, who builds our squat and bench racks. We believe its important to support locally and create livelihood opportunities.
Maforo lives in Glen Norah, and works out of a small shack on the side of the road.
We have continued to make friendships and connections within the communities we work with and beyond, and the sport continues to change lives. Our established donated gyms are continuing to thrive, and our dream is to continue to build more equipment to support powerlifting in communities that need the sport the most. We are trusting the process, and looking forward to all the big things to come.