In 2012 GSAA has adopted a wait and see approach to the evolution of competitive lifting. In late 2011 the committee voted to adopt the new IKSFA ranking system . In the latter half of 2012, the full rules and regulations of competitions conducted under this banner were released.
We believe these ranks and rules provide a robust framework for advancement of our sport in Australia. The adoption of multiple levels of achievement allow a novice to sample the sport whilst acquiring necessary skills to progress up the ladder. Some natural ability helps , but fundamentally the diligent hard working athlete can achieve great success. Not everyone can be , or indeed has the personal circumstances that allow performance at the elite (aka professional) level. But as with other individual sports , it is now clear how we can assess our progress and compare our performances to our particular demographic.
Of course , as with other lifting sports and indeed sports such as competitive martial arts , there are different organisations with differing rules of engagement. Competition between organisations is healthy , and gives an athlete choice. Although one may hope for a common “political endpoint” , the reality is that organisations have to market and distinguish themselves .Thus various technical points may attract or detract athletes of different nature.
Since its inception , GSAA has aligned itself with the IUKL stance on promoting KB sport to the highest level. The ultimate prize is a spot at a future Olympics. Clearly at such an event , there will be one set of rules . Until then , we will be subject to ongoing changes in rules and ranks as the sport evolves around the world.
We should embrace these changes as being healthy for the sport. As noted there is plenty of choice for an athlete whether he or she wishes to compete regionally, nationally or internationally.
Growing the strongest Australian athletes should be one of several goals ; these high achievers inspire others across all ages to have a go and be their best. In many sports , egotistical behaviour can spoil the game for others. Kettlebell sport does have a habit of knocking egos flat. It is however important to water one’s own ego to a point of confidence in one’s own ability. And indeed be proud to demonstrate that to colleagues in the sport and the wider audience.
Kettlebell sport can intimidating , but if realistic time schedules and ranking schedules are adopted it is a given that the sportsperson will acquire remarkable physical and mental qualities. And of course , there is the excitement that accompanies a relatively new activity and sport , and the feeling that one is playing a part in history.
To date we have been buoyed with the level of support for our Association and its ideals of encouraging a challenging but healthly sustainable sport for anyone with a bit of drive. A steady as she goes approach ensures we can come to terms with the sport’s global evolution. Make no mistake , this sport is still very much in a building stage and the only way to ensure continued growth is to foster friendly participation according to , and striving towards high ideals.
Nobody is perfect , everyone is busy and the GSAA system remains volunteer driven and run. Even if and when significant sponsorship arrives , those with a administrative interest will have their work cut out. As will those strong people who choose to compete in this satisfying , frustrating yet ultimately hugely rewarding sport!
As always , best of luck with current and future plans!
Cheers , Paul Tucker