Athletes with autism participate in weightlifting competition in Saskatoon

Kids with Autism had the chance to participate in their first weightlifting competition on Saturday afternoon. Emily-May Simmonds / Global News

Kids with autism participated in a weightlifting competition on Saturday. Vice-President of Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association, Kelly Brown, said Saturday’s weightlifting competition featured a special session for kids with autism, which started in the adapted program.

“This will be the first time that they’ve competed in a meet altogether,” Brown said. “Everyone needs the opportunity and that’s what we’re trying to provide.”

Brown said 12 athletes in total competed on Saturday. His daughter, Annalise, has been competing for three years.

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“This is what prompted us to offer the adaptive program for inclusion of kids with autism and other adaptive issues,” Kelly said.

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There will be another competition on May 28 with the goal of having individuals in the adapted program compete at the Saskatchewan Games next year. The Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association is hoping to expand the programs to other communities such as Prince Albert and Regina in the future.

“It feels really good to be here today,” Annalise said, who was celebrating a milestone. “My favourite part of competing today was I beat a total that I really wanted to hit for a really long time — I had an over 100 kilo total.”

“In the snatch lift I did 44 (kilograms) and in my clean and jerk lift I did 57 (kilograms), and the total of that is 101 kilos.”

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