Girls weightlifting raising the bar at PHS

Lady Eagles send a few competitors to regionals in coach's first year.

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Girls weightlifting raising the bar at PHS

The Poinciana Girls Weightlifting team sent a number of competitors to the regional tournament this season.

The Poinciana Girls Weightlifting team sent a number of competitors to the regional tournament this season.

The Poinciana Girls Weightlifting team sent a number of competitors to the regional tournament this season.

The Poinciana Girls Weightlifting team sent a number of competitors to the regional tournament this season.

Vianna Lee, Reporter

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Weightlifting helps guide a teenagers with the importance of being able to keep going – even past your limitations and understanding that it’s okay to fail. As time progresses, teenagers become more active and stronger. This core discipline helps girls with their lifestyle including their state of mind.

The girls who make up the weightlifting team at Poinciana High verbally expressed that this year was a great experience and they learned many new and exciting things that will be able to keep for the rest of their lives. Their sisterhood is now irreplaceable because they will never forget the moments and dedication that helped develop their muscles as well as their friendships.

“Weight lifting is a way to meet new people, and try to be willing to be creative and want to learn,” said freshman Dejanay Robinson, who was a regional qualifier this year. “Joining weightlifting helps you connect to others and to the world around you. Weightlifting helps you accomplish things you may never thought you would have accomplished, physically, mentally, and emotionally.”

After the loss of former coach Joey Campbell, coaches Aryanna Morales and Mariah White stepped up to dedicate their time and effort in making sure that the girls of Poinciana learned and performed the necessary skills needed to become great athletes.

“The coaches are amazing,” Robinson said. “They are completely understanding and know exactly how to deal with the different mixture of attitudes that we bring. They are amazing to be around and it is an honor to have known them. Over time they start to become like family to a team.”

Weightlifting is not a popular sport. Not many girls are willing to step up to the challenge that will prepare them for competition. Actually, many people are unaware of the sport entirely, but those who do are really amazed. The girls support and challenge each other in this sport which is mostly seen as a man’s sport.

In weightlifting, the girls use various types of weights and exercises to gain muscle and increase their strength. There are two events that the girls compete in – bench press and clean and jerk. During a competition, athletes are categorized by weight class.

“Weightlifting to me is a way of expressing yourself and having self-motivation to lift and work as a team, weightlifting has the mindset of wanting to conquer and lift more,” said Junior Jasmari Cordero. “I’ve learned so much mentally and physically since joining this sport and I now have the dedication to always push through and lift big.

“As a weightlifter, I often hear people say, “I’m not big enough to lift weight or strong enough.” As you can see it has nothing to do with strength or size. There is always room for improvement. “It’s a motivator and it’s quite fun.”

Freshman Darlene Sison, also a female regional qualifier agrees.

“Weightlifting is an amazing opportunity to build relationships, strength, and confidence. Every day you are not only achieving goals for the team but also for yourself,” Sison said. “You have every moment to do better and be better. Weightlifting is for everyone, plus it’s just lifting weights in a hot or sometimes cold room, which is no biggie.”

Weightlifting has shown many benefits for teenagers, however, parents are often scared of the potential injuries and the damage weightlifting can cause. What many people are unaware of is that the cause of injuries are due to the lack of adult supervision and not being properly taught the skills or not having the proper equipment. During practice at PHS, there was always a coach at every practice and was there for support, to protect and encourage their athletes.

Morales said there were challenges coming into this year, but the team got stronger, mentally and physically, as the season progressed.

“Being a first-year head coach isn’t easy, but the girls made it worthwhile,” Morales said. “Having a solid group of girls consistently showing me what hard work and dedication looks like has been very motivating, to say the least. This season was about rebirth and I believe we started off on the right foot with a strong foundation that will hopefully carry this program, making it bigger and better than before.

“Half of my team qualified for the regional meet, and next season that number will double. We won’t give in until we are victorious. I couldn’t be any more proud to be the head coach of this team, I love this sport and love who I do it for.”

“I’m just really excited to help coach a group of girls who were very coachable and also wanted to get better. They made it easy on us because of their work ethic. We had a lot of fun together, and is excited about next season,” said assistant coach White.


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