ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – The Taylor County Expo Center played powerhouse to hundreds of strong students as it hosted the Texas High School Powerlifting Association State Championship.
Powerlifting can be a heavy subject but it is the passion of the more than 500 student athletes converging on Abilene.
“There are 560 lifters here today, and they come from all over the state. We have schools here from all the way down in Brownsville, all the way up in the panhandle and all in between,” says George Taylor, vice president of the THSPA.
One lifter shared that it is his adoration for the sport that makes lifting heavy loads just a little lighter.
“I started lifting in seventh grade just trying to get bigger and then last year I started powerlifting and I fell in love with it,“ says Moises Amaro, a sophomore from Palacios High School.
Taylor says the sport, and meet, have a place for every body. Highlighting that unlike sports such as football where a large stature is borderline necessary to succeed, powerlifters have a level playing ground to compete on because of different weight divisions.
“Powerlifting lets kids that weigh 114 pounds compete against other 114 pound kids. That in itself is special because anyone can power lift. You have to have a great work ethic, you have to work hard in the weight room to be good at what you do,“ says Taylor.
This celebration of strong students also boosts the bottom line for the Key City.
“We have a huge impact on their economy. I believe almost $700,000 is injected back into the economy here in Abilene,“ adds Taylor.
The association has two years left in the current contract it has with the expo center to host its meet there, but with 12 years already under the weightbelt of their working together — there’s no sign that the weights of this partnership will be racked up any time soon.
“In 2022 we’ll be signing the dotted line again to keep our meet here,“ says Taylor.