USAPL Membership And You
By Nectar Kirkiris
Having attended Senior Nationals this weekend, I began to think about all the things that make USA Powerlifting so unique and special. This was partly inspired by seeing the energy, enthusiasm and collective talents of the people at this competition as well as relating to my own experiences within this organization. I think an ancient Greek democrat like the Athenian Pericles or Theban Epaminondas would have been proud to see how well the USAPL democracy works with a novice lifter having the same opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns as a multiple time national champion and world record holder. For this is what we truly are. A democratic organization composed of lifters from every walk of life. Our leaders are fellow lifters who are accountable to the oversight and scrutiny of the membership rather than demagogues or megalomaniacs who rely on half-truths and seek only personal glory at the expense of the sport.
With such a structure, is it critical to have an inspired and well-informed organization. Only by doing this can we ensure that our organization continues to grow and prosper. Therefore, it is critical that our entire membership be involved in the operation of USAPL based on each individual's capabilities to contribute. This is especially true at the local level where the efforts of the individual can make a tremendous impact in how we are perceived and how successful we are in an entire region or state.
Although being a USAPL member gives you the opportunity to compete in some of the best powerlifing meets in the USA, paying your membership fees really means much more than that. A USAPL membership means that you believe in the ideals and goals of this organization. These were clearly spelled out by Brother Bennet almost 20 years ago and continue to guide us to this day.
Being a USAPL member makes you a shareholder in USA Powerlifting. Your membership is an investment in this organization, which is used to benefit everyone. This gives the individual a tremendous amount of power and influence in how the organization is run. As a result, you can affect changes in our by-laws, constitution or technical rules. You can elect the officials at the national level, which greatly effects the direction of our organization. You can seize the initiative for assisting USA Powerlifting in areas where you feel we need improvement and can contribute your time and effort to improving them. You can inspire and motivate others in your life by proving to them that there are no bounds to what a drug-free athlete can achieve through some hard work, dedication and sacrifice. In a society that seems to be placing less and less responsibility on the individual for their actions, it is quite refreshing to be a part of a sport where there are no short cuts and a 10lbs personal record is acknowledged for the hard work needed to achieve it whether there was 100lbs on the bar or 1000lbs.
Being a USAPL member means that you are part of an organization whose sole purpose is the promotion of drug-free powerlifting. Rather than being an very small subset of a large bureaucracy with very little say in how the organization's money is spent and what direction the sport is going in, every penny of your membership goes to support the promotion and growth of powerlifting within the USA.
As our sport continues to evolve, it is more important than ever that we all understand what is happening within our organization and within powerlifting. Our continued growth and success is solely dependent on the contributions and dedication of our members. Our democratic structure enables the individual to have a great deal of power and influence. It is up to each of us to harness this power to ensure the continued success and growth of USAPL.