January 2019 / Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Third Annual Christmas Powerlifting Meet
By Mary Heaton
On Saturday, December 15th, Townson Fitness, a local Scarborough gym run by head coach Matthew Townson, hosted its 3rd Annual Christmas Powerlifting Meet. This competition provided an opportunity to Ontario-wide weight-lifting enthusiasts to demonstrate their strength in three different disciplines – the squat, bench press and deadlift. In all, there were 30 competitors from across the province. The youngest was 16 years old, ranging up to 61 years of age.
Some of the competitors have trained and competed for years, while others, relatively new to the sport, were identified with a chalked “X” on their attire. This alerted the judges to be a bit more forgiving of the competitor’s first attempts, and for the attending crowd to cheer a little bit louder for more encouragement.
Stylized Christmas medals were awarded to the top three lifters in each weight class for both male and female lifters. Trophies were also awarded for best male and female lifters based on their total weight lifted (all three disciplines), relative to their body weight. Unique to the Townson Fitness Powerlifting meet, trophies were also handed out to the best new male and female lifter, recognizing and encouraging new lifters to this sport.
The enthusiastic atmosphere Matthew created by hosting this annual powerlifting event was palpable in the enjoyment experienced by the lifters and audience alike. Volunteers sporting traditional ugly Christmas sweaters, festive t-shirts, reindeer antlers and Santa hats, and a gym resplendent with Christmas lights and a decorated tree, fed the festive mood.
Matthew is a former “AAA” hockey player who began weight training after sustaining a serious injury to his collarbone and rotator cuff. The injury inspired him to find ways of training that would help him recover and come back stronger than before.
His impetus for hosting an Annual Powerlifting Christmas Meet came about a number of years ago when Matthew decided to host his first meet, raising funds for The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). His business was beginning to take off, and now was his chance to give back to the community. He has always maintained that physical and mental well-being are intrinsically linked, and as such, was inspired to support a mental health and wellness institution.
Matthew has since opened his doors to other qualified coaches to use his space to train their clients, whether in fat loss, muscle building, strength training, powerlifting, or sport specific training. Everyone who is qualified to train is welcome. Anyone who wants to just work out, is welcome too. He has even had sports teams use his gym as an off-season training facility. Sharing the space allows him to share his passion for fitness.
Better than the Day Before is Townson Fitness’ mantra. It speaks volumes about the vision he instills in clients, and was highly evident with the event participants’ joyful results at his Annual Christmas Powerlifting Meet.