Solomon Macys practices lifts at Saturday’s in-house event in Victoria. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Island kettlebell community decends on Oak Bay for in-house event

World class athletes and beginners come together for fun in the sun

On a quiet dead-end street in Oak Bay Saturday, a driveway was converted into a gym for an in-house weightlifting event that highlights Vancouver Island’s growing presence in the world of kettlebell.

The eclectic community doing repetitive lifts in the carport, or warming up in the sunny backyard before facing the judges and timers, included world champions, world record holders and previous national team members – a testament to the calibre of kettlebellers training on the Island.

An intense competitive vibe would be expected, but instead the atmosphere is one of support and diversity. Mixed in with the world class athletes are beginners.

“We do these in-house events to introduce them to the world of kettlebell competition in a low-stress, more relaxed atmosphere,” said Corissa Sivorot, trainer and owner of Westshore Warehouse. Sivorot has lifted on the world stage.

Multiple clubs were present at the in-house event – hosted by world kettlebell champion Mike Read – which exemplified both the warm community aspect of the sport as well as the sport’s growth over the last few years.

RELATED: World championships in Seoul on Langford lifter’s horizon

“I ran the first kettlebell competition in Victoria in 2012. I started back then just trying to get education and awareness to Victoria because there wasn’t any kettlebell sport going on here,” said Linda Gilmour, trainer and owner of Iron-Bell Fitness in Victoria.

Gilmour has represented Canada on the world stage and is a director on the board of Canadian Kettlebell Alliance. The community credits her with much of the early growth of the sport on the Island.

“Now it is booming. We have competitions everywhere, we have clubs everywhere up and down the Island. For me to see that flourish has been exciting,” said Gilmour.

Kettlebells are not unfamiliar to the general fitness community, but the sport itself, which originated in Russia, is just picking up traction in Canada.

Using body weight and gender categories, competitors are ranked on kettlebell weight, how many reps they complete in 10 minutes and what lift they perform – a snatch, jerk or long cycle.

RELATED: Keep calm and kettlebell on

In international competition, the kettlebells used are 16 kg, 24 kg or 32 kg.

The range has been expanded in North America to include lower weight options such as 8 kg, 12 kg and 20 kg.

Competitors are lined up on a platform in front of judges who ensure the athletes perform complete repetitions.

“It’s a great sport for all ages. I’m 49 this year. I started late but I’m still able to do it. You can come in and out if you have life things going on. It’s one of those sports that doesn’t matter,” said Gilmour, “you have a community behind you to help you along the way.”

Saturday’s event was to prepare for a competition in Vancouver next weekend.

“This sort of mock competition is a way for our lifters to get a little bit more platform experience to make their experience in Vancouver a little more pleasurable and bring that anxiety down a little bit,” said Solomon Macys, who runs Nanaimo Kettlebell Club out of his garage gym Ballistic Strength in Nanaimo. “We’ve got a lot of great lifters in B.C. We have a lot of talent and we are excited to see where that goes.”


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Joanna Vandenberghe (left), Solomon Macys and Mike Read practice lifts at Saturday’s in-house event in Victoria. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Solomon Macys (left) and Mike Read practice lifts at Saturday’s in-house event in Victoria. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Linda Gilmour, trainer and owner of Iron-Bell Fitness in Victoria, runs through lifts at Saturday’s in-house event in Victoria. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Kettlebells are not unfamiliar to the general fitness community, but the sport itself, which originated in Russia, is just picking up traction in Canada. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Just Posted

Skeena combines Roy Henry Vickers’ vibrant expression with robust oral history

Vickers’ and Budd’s ninth collaboration sells out of local book store, Amazon

Traffic delayed near Saanich, West Shore border after driver collides with telephone pole

Police remind drivers roads to slow down on slippery, winding roads

Three VicPD officers honoured with award of valour from Lieutenant Governor

The officers were among 114 BC law enforcement member recognized for bravery and dedication

UVic threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach investigation

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

University of Victoria threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach probe

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

B.C.’s largest catholic archdiocese names 9 clergymen in sex abuse report; probes ongoing

Vancouver Archdioces presides over 443,000 parishoners in B.C.

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Eagles congregate around Salish Sea for one last feast before period of famine

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society preparing to receive birds in need of care

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most Read