I began weightlifting in the remote northern community of Kirkland Lake Ontario, at the age of 8. My coach was my brother Larry Robinson, and he ran a success club while in high school. The community was small but exciting. I attended Dan Robaille's training camp with Akos and his brother, had the privilege of being coached at the Canada Games by Bob Santavy, and drove snowy roads to Larry Shepherd's competitions. I tried to be as fast as Cory Walt, but I knew I'd never do a platform backflip like Dalas.
After going to school in Windsor, I returned to the community 10 years ago. Weightlifting membership was growing, but the excitement I remembered as a kid was gone. We had a lot of members but couldn't expand to accommodate them. I became VP of Operations and worked with Akos Sandor, Geroge Vhalos, my brother, and Le-Ann Patton. Together we increased yearly competitions from 6 to 22, lowered entry cost from 90-100$ to 70-80$, started the club challenges program, and got weightlifting back into the Ontario Games!
I've been the president for over two years; I've tried to attend every competition as either an official, coach, technical official, or loader. I've led standing shoulder to shoulder with members and not from an office. I've adapted our systems to COVID, allowing us to host an in-person competition halfway into the pandemic and two successful online competitions. Our final online competition was a national event over three days. I've spent two years fostering relationships, improving systems, and building the best possible team. Thanks to working and listening to OWA members like our competition administrator, Canadian record holder Amanda Braddock, our athlete-driven inclusivity committee led by a group of young new up-and-coming athletes, the experienced group of coaches in the high-performance committee, local clubs like Victory Barbell, Apollo Barbell and Adamantium Weightlifting, and my brother I'm able to make the best well-informed decisions. It can all be rebuilt with someone new, but it will take time. With the losses we've accumulated, time is not on our side.
COVID has hit us hard. I've lost a business, moved facilities, lost athletes, started a new club, and had periods where I was unsure where my family and I could lift. Weightlifting in Ontario will be challenging to grow, but I've done it before and can do it again.
Two-year OWA goals:
Double membership by engaging other communities and expanding our Ontario Club Challenges.
Expand Ontario's referee capacity by running more virtual training events and maintain better professional development tracking.
Continue to develop a coach mentorship program and a third training camp that will support developing athletes and developing coaches. This project is part of a government initiative to improve coaching in Ontario.
Research continuing education for board members and administrators to help medicate litigation risks.
Continue to ensure ranking, qualifications processes, and calendar is continually updated once in-person competitions resume.
Increase support to remote Ontario communities.
My name is Noah Santavy. You could say I've grown up with the OWA. I've been around the sport training and competing since I was 5 years old and am a current national team member. I am also a 4th generation OWA member whose family roots go deep into the foundation of weightlifting in Ontario and Canada.
I decided to run for President of the OWA because I care about what happens to weightlifting in Ontario and I know the potential we have to produce great lifters. As an athlete, I’d like to see this association support athletes and coaches of every level. I'd like to see our competitions grow and thrive, welcoming all from youth to master.
I'm a hardworking guy who's willing to put the time and effort into making this association great. You may know me as a lifter but I'm also a certified tradesman and a union member. I'd like to use my life experience to lead this association with integrity and ground it in values that everyone can get behind. I would be an advocate and spokesman for weightlifting in Ontario and Canada, also being a current national team member, I see things from an athlete’s point of view and want to make this association better for the athletes any way possible.
My plan includes:
I would work to expand membership of the OWA by supporting new clubs and lifters while also continuously supporting the few “classic” clubs the province has. I will focus on clubs that foster youth and junior lifters, as this is the future of our sport.
I would strengthen ties with other provincial weightlifting associations by collaborating on offering training camps to increase development of athletes in Ontario and Canada.
I will ensure our competitions are well run and welcoming of all lifters and their coaches.
I would like to make sure that everyone has a fair say in how things are run.
I will do everything I can to make sure of “clean” lifting within our province.
These are my ideas, but this is your association, and I would be honored to represent you and your ideas so that we can continue to make the OWA grow and produce lifters that inspire us.
Dave has been involved in weightlifting as an athlete, coach, and business owner for more than 10 years, and was recently appointed to the board as the interim VP Operations. In his few months with the board, Dave has helped in all the board's projects and meetings, and is leading the development of the Coaching Apprenticeship Program, which will work to improve coaching relationships and skills in the province.
Dave's goal with the OWA board is to help improve the sport's membership, visibility, and organization.
Linda Rosario-Earnshaw has been a member of the OWA since 2013. Linda first got involved with weightlifting as a mother and spectator to her teenage daughter, Catrina. Upon the advice of her weightlifting coach, Linda became a Technical Official for the OWA. She has clocked quite some mileage and time with travel for regional and national competitions.
Linda’s experience with weightlifting is vast and varied. She has been a member of the OWA and the CMFHCWM for many years. Linda has competed as a Masters lifter in many competitions and has earned herself a medal or two and set a couple of records within her category. She managed the OWA Jr. teams and the OWA Sr. teams from 2016-2020…and has managed the Ontario Canadian Masters Team at the Pan Ams Masters in Gaspe, Canada 2018. During the 2020-2021 Pandemic Lockdown Linda has put in quite a bit of time with judging online Zoom competitions at the Ontario Youth, Jr. and Sr. Championships the Canadian Jr. Championships, the Canadian Sr. Championship and at the IWF Worlds Masters Championships. Her current goal is to apply for her IWF TO International Level 2 once back at in-person live competitions.
She is friendly, approachable and hard working. She loves her interactions with people and will get a task or job done to the best of her ability. If elected, she will be a positive asset as the VP Technical and executive board with the OWA.