Program for NT’s future Olympic weightlifters


Keiryn Orr shows his technique in the Introductory Olympic Weightlifting Junior Program at CDU

Keiryn Orr shows his technique in the Introductory Olympic Weightlifting Junior Program at CDU

Charles Darwin University sports scientists are running a program that encourages kids to become involved in weightlifting.

The Introductory Olympic Weightlifting Junior Program at CDU is running in conjunction with the Northern Territory Weightlifting Association (NTWA) to give children the opportunity to explore the sport through engaging games and activities.

CDU lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science Dr Daniel Gahreman said the benefits of weightlifting were wide-ranging for any age or fitness level, improving all components of physical fitness.

“The programs are based around learning the correct technique in a fun way,” Dr Gahreman said. “Participants lift plastic weights of no more than 2.5kg so they can learn the basic skills involved.”

Ten-year-old Jacinta Sherwell, who swims and learns gymnastics, said the program was fun and had inspired her to continue in the sport.

“It has now become my favourite sport,” Jacinta said. “I really like to learn about how to use my legs and arms to push the bar up; it is all about the position and you can get much stronger.”

NTWA head coach Amanda Miller said the program gave people functional movement training and techniques they could use in everyday life.

“Weightlifting develops focus, strength and goal setting that not only has benefits for improving performance in other sports, but also for everyday lifting activities and fitness,” Ms Miller said.

“The outdoor games and activities that form part of the program are also not only a great opportunity to get the kids out and moving but also improve speed, agility, coordination, and balance required in the sport.”

Dr Gahreman said there was often a misconception about the safety of the sport.

“With correct coaching, proper equipment and realistic expectations, strength training and weightlifting programs designed for children are safe and beneficial,” he said.

Dr Gahreman said that due to the success of the program in term one, a nine-week program would be held in term two starting 19 April 2017. For more information contact Daniel Gahreman on T: 0422 117 101, E: or

The program is part of a wider strategy of collaboration between CDU experts and local athletes and teams to promote the general wellbeing of Territorians through exercise. 

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