Zimbabwe Powerlifting Youth to the African Arnolds 2019

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Lift4Life, local Zimbabwe coach Audrey, and the Zimbabwe Powerlifting Federation are raising funds to sponsor 3 youth lifters to the African Arnolds in May! It’s an incredible opportunity to #SpreadStrength and build the leaders of tomorrow. 

Powerlifting can create a world that you never thought possible. 

My name is Audrey Svongwa, and I am a 33-year-old single mom who lives in the high density suburb of Glen Norah in Harare, Zimbabwe. I was introduced to powerlifting last summer by the charity Lift4Life  and it has completely changed my life and my community. 

I have recently been invited to compete in the African Arnold Classic taking place May 19th in Johannesburg. I will be competing as a 72kg Open Lifter under Team Zimbabwe, and it is my dream to take a team of 3 Zimbabwe youth that I coach with me. 

Powerlifting is a powerful tool to spread strength to youth in my country, and build the leaders of tomorrow. To make this a reality, we need your help!

We need $2400USD / 3200 CAN to cover our competition entry fees ($150USD per person) transportation to South Africa (300USD per person) and accommodation (600USD for  4 nights shared rooms)

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Growing up we all have ideas of how we would like our lives to be like when we grow up. Along the way, some of these dreams change and get lost. And often times if we don’t have anyone to help us, guide us, or motivate us, we give up on our dreams or follow wrong paths. 

This is the case with many of the young boys and girls in Zimbabwe, and why this cause is so important to me. 

Most of the youth in the high density suburbs (where I was born and raised and currently live) have the odds staked against them in life. This is a result of many factors including poverty, economic meltdown of the country, corruption, high rates of unemployment (being educated is like a curse as those qualifications still won’t get you a job), absent parents who are away trying to make ends meet... the list goes on. 

For these young people, no one is really ever there for them to set them on the right path, and far too often youth resort to street life doing drugs, drinking, and sexual activities. It’s an escape, as hoping for the best within the context of Zimbabwe leads to hurt. Most kids believe their lives wont amount to anything. 

Until powerlifting.  Powerlifting has given something to these young boys and girls and they have started to have hope again for a better tomorrow, and that they can be leaders for change.

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Every day they show up to the free powerlifting sessions I lead. It takes a lot of courage and hard work to be there at the gym every day. But it is changing their mindset and building confidence, bettering their health, keeping them out of trouble, and proving to these youths that there is more to life than hardships. 

These youths now have something to look forward to, and are dedicated and loyal to our powerlifting sessions. Powerlifting has changed lives in Zimbabwe and I am proud to be part of it and a coach within it. 

Zimbabwe isn’t the easiest of places to be at the moment and has led to many school dropouts. However, through Lift4Life we have managed to introduce Lift4Life to multiple under-privileged communities and in particular it has seen a great number of youths signing up. Their dedication and effort and willingness to show up always motivates and gives me courage to put in the work to help them get to the next level. Their progress is inspiring, and has resulted in improvements in other areas of their lives as well including academics. Lift4Life has provided academic scholarships to support students lifting and learning, which has helped a lot. 

Most of the time I am asked why I powerlift. I just give them the simple reason that I love it and that I have to do it, as I feel like it is my responsibility to be a positive role model for others and lead by example - not being afraid to put in the work.

Most of our youth have competed in local powerlifting events and my greatest wish is to see them compete at an international event and experience all the high and lows of a competition. Funding has made this dream difficult in Zimbabwe as there is no funding, and so much uncertainty.  

I want you to join me to help get 3 local Zimbabwe youth lifters to the African Arnolds in South Africa. Being able to get ourselves there will go a long way in inspiring not only these youth, but spread strength to many youth within our country. 

I thank you in advance for your support, kindness,  and generosity.