I’ve always taken photos of Olympic weightlifting, but got semi serious about photography (specifically digital) in 2003 when the World championships came to Vancouver Canada. Vancouver is a ferry ride from Victoria on Vancouver Island, so I volunteered for 2 weeks in the training hall. The training hall is nothing new for me as I worked the training hall at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton 1978 and Victoria 1994. I was assistant sports chair for weightlifting at the 1994 CWG under the leadership of Steve James.

My inspiration to take weightlifting photos probably came in 1970 when I viewed a Sports Illustrated photo essay on the 1970 European championships held in Hungary. The star of the feature (and future star) was a young upstart by the name of Vasiliy Alekseyev (spelling from wikipedia). The photographer was Neil Leifer, a sports photography legend.   I must mention two other “weightlifter photographers” who have influenced my  weightlifting photography, they are the Americans Everill Taggart and Bruce Klemens.

I have actively competed for over 30 years in the sport. A non weightlifting injury to a shoulder has put me permanently out of competing. My best official lifts are mediocre; 117.5kg (259 lbs)   snatch and 152.5kg (336 lbs) CJ @ 82.5kg BW done in mid 1970’s.

My association with the sport has been and continues to be a source of enjoyment for me. I am forever a diehard Olympic weightlifting enthusiast.

I coach a small group of weightlifters. I have two lifters that in 3 years of training(up to August 2013)  are ranked 7th and 20th in the Commonwealth in their respective weight classes. They will in my opinion move much higher in ranking in the years to come.

The Pacific Nomads Club

Nomads club lost its home Dec 2012. Up until that time I pretty much accepted anyone; however eventually I learned I had to be a little more discriminating and selective with my coaching time (because it is an unpaid position and of personal time constraints). The main criteria was and is regular attendance, competition after about 6 months, and sticking with the sport long term and competing. I didn’t discourage at that time anyone from joining even if they didn’t share these commitments, however I also didn’t have great interest in helping with their personal training/planning. I have extreme passion for the sport and anyone I train must have that same passion and commitment.

Because of a big change in our circumstances (loss of the facility) I am now coaching a limited number of wtlers at PISE. I am always looking for talent. PISE has been very generous in allowing me to train some of my better lifters in their facility. I am thankful. Unfortunately there are constraints put on by PISE, which I have to follow. These constraints are not training during prime times 4:30 to 7pm week days, lifting on one platform and no more than 3 lifters at a time. The logistics are now such that I can only coach higher level National level athletes or ideally younger athletes with potential. The financial requirements to join the club (provided I have agreed to coach you) are

#1/ to pay the PISE facility gym fee and in addition

#2/ pay PISE $100 per trimester (three times in a year) to allow me to coach you. All the money goes to PISE. I receive no remuneration for my coaching.

#3/ get a membership with the BC Weightlifting Association, so that you be covered under the liability insurance.

Typically I coach in the hours between 10am and 4pm weekdays and sometimes twice daily on Weds and Sat.

Regarding coaching of OL in Victoria, I know of no other clubs or NCCP accredited OL coaches. Obviously there is some OL coaching at various Crossfits around Victoria. I cannot speak to the value of this coaching, as it usually a Crossfit certification and not a NCCP certification. I have National Coaching Certification Program Level 3 (see resume) and been actively involved with the sport for going on 46 years.

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twitter @RobMacklem

Rachel Siemens Oct 2014
jerking 118kg( 260lbs)
front squatting 125kg (275lbs) for reps