MICHAEL Pileggi, head coach of the Origins Weightlifting Club, is on a mission to change the public perception of weightlifting for pre-teens.
He said children as young as seven were taking up weightlifting to improve their balance, stability and general well-being.
“Although a lot of the activities the kids do at training are running and jumping, they are also introduced to safe lifting techniques that become life habits,” he said.
“This will then enable them to develop safe lifting habits into their teenage years.”
Weightlifting is recognised as one of the safest sports in the world due to the taught lifting habits and correct technique.
“When kids are very young, they generally have a great deal of flexibility, but they tend to lose it as they take on other sports and recreational activities, or lack of, which tend to hinder their ability to remain flexible,” Pileggi said.
“Kids that start under the age of 10 are usually very flexible, so the main focus on them is to maintain flexibility and incorporate exercises that improve stability.
“But usually when kids start off as a teenager, their level of flexibility has already been reduced, so their main focus is primarily on flexibility as well as stability.”
He will be heading to Malaysia later this month to coach the Australian youth weightlifting team, which has 15-year-olds competing internationally.
Pileggi has many years of experience as both an elite athlete and Australian coach.
He said the overseas trips were usually funded by the Australia Weightlifting Federation.
“It is also a great opportunity to experience travel in the younger years,” he said.
To get your kids started at Origins Weightlifting Club, go to the Midland Speed Dome on Eddie Barron Drive, Middle Swan.
Contact Michael Pileggi on 0417 986 899 for more information.