SUMMERSIDE – JP Richard has always loved going to the gym, but he wanted more out of it than just getting in shape. The opportunity presented itself when some people in Summerside were doing powerlifting, and he thought that could be something he would enjoy.
Richard has been involved in the sport of powerlifting since 2006, and said it allows him to push his limits.
“I like testing my strength and seeing what I can do.”
That’s exactly what Richard did on Saturday at the Credit Union Place for a powerlifting competition, along with 14 other male powerlifters and eight females.
The event consisted of squat, bench press, and deadlift segments.
This was the first time a meet has taken place in Summerside, and was hosted by Justin Smith and Tyler Ramsay, members of the P.E.I. Powerlifting Association executive.
Richard said it was great to have the competition at the CUP and Smith and Ramsay did an excellent job organizing the meet.
“Hopefully it will grow the sport here.”
He will continue with powerlifting for as long as he can.
“You get to set goals and reach those goals. There’s a great camaraderie to it.”
Richard was given an award for being the best Prince County lifter.
Natasha Dunn from Alberton said she’s been training for 22 years and competing for eight.
“When I got into the sport of powerlifting, it opened up a whole new world and it’s quite rewarding to try your best and you have something to work towards.”
Dunn said even though it’s a competition, there’s a lot of team spirit and encouragement.
For her, it’s something she finds very empowering.
At the meet, her squat was 237 pounds, her bench press was 165 pounds, and her deadlift was 308 pounds.
“I encourage youth to get involved. The world really is your oyster when it comes to powerlifting because it’s such an amazing sport to get involved in,” said Dunn.
John MacDonald from Charlottetown said he’s known as the “Non-stop Powerlifting Machine” and he competes about 12 times a year.
“Currently I have the biggest total in Canada in the new age of weight classes. There were a couple bigger totals about four years ago when the weight classes changed, and I’m trying to catch those ones, too.”
MacDonald said the competitors feel like a family when they’re together, and he doesn’t plan on giving it up any time soon.
“Powerlifting is my sport. I really enjoy it.”
MacDonald had the biggest bench press ever lifted on the Island with 628 pounds.
Awards went to Mark Wasson for the best overall male, and Heather Ayles received the best overall female.