History of I.A.W.A. (UK)
International All-Round Weightlifting Association
In the late 19th century, weightlifting was in its heyday. Strongmen and
weightlifters were much higher on the celebrity ladder than today. From the
Bavarian Beer Gardens to the London stage, weightlifting was a great
source of entertainment, many lifters had strong followings, people would
travel across Europe to watch their favourites compete head to head against
others who maybe claimed to be the strongest man alive. Much to the
surprise of many today, women also had their champions, many
strongwomen, weightlifters and wrestlers are well documented to have
achieved great things, well before the turn of the century. The Olympic
Games revival in 1896 saw weightlifting included and eventually a set of lifts
were decided upon, and became known as the Olympic Set. Later in the
20th century, Powerlifting was founded and became very popular with the
masses. The overall result was that eventually by the 1970's, only Olympic
lifting and Powerlifting were being practised on any large scale. The whole
heart and origins of weightlifting were starting to be long forgotten, seen only
in books or magazines and remembered fondly by the older generations of
Fortunately there were always a few purists who fought to keep the third
element of weightlifting alive:- ALL ROUND WEIGHTLIFTING! Without which,
of course, no other type of lifting would have ever been born. In the early
1980's, a group of enthusiasts realised that the only way forward was to
break away from the old associations (and for more than one reason
too!). If All Round Lifting was to survive and be remembered and revived
as it should be, then someone had to make it happen, and they did. The
English group was well established by 1985, and made contact with a similar
group in the U.S.A. So, 1985 saw the first International All Round match
between the two Nations, albeit a postal match, but that sowed the seeds.
By 1987, the International Group was well and truly formed as The
International All Round Weightlifting Association, and the first Open World
Championships were held in Leicester, England.
It has been an enjoyable journey since those early days, with World Open
Championships held every year (venues have included: USA, England,
Scotland, Australia and New Zealand) and the very popular Gold Cup World
Record Breakers competition has also been an annual event since 1991. We
have come a long way since our humble beginnings and we have seen at
least sixteen different Nations represented over the years. We still have a
long way to go, but with the help and support of all the good people who
believe in I.A.W.A. we shall continue to grow and excel in the mixture of new
and old-time lifts, that are the history of the 'Iron Game'.
International Presidents of IAWA
The first President of IAWA was the late Howard Prechtel of Ohio, USA.
Howard served from 1987 to 1998.
The second President of IAWA was Steve Gardner of Staffordshire,
England. Ssteve served from 1999 to 2012
The current President of IAWA is Al Myers of Kansas USA. Al has been
president since October 2012
For information on those serving members of IAWA that have passed on,
please see the acknowledgement on the Hall of Fame page!