VESTAL (WBNG) — A group of employees from UHS and local students decided to form a powerlifting team less than two years ago to promote overall wellness. Since then, the group has redefined what it means to be a champion.
UHS in Vestal hosted a 100 percent RAW powerlifting meet on Saturday which provided coaches and their students a chance to show off their strength and skill.
UHS has a unique partnership with local schools which coaches say has allowed the powerlifting community to flourish locally.
“It started off, a couple years ago I was hired up here to be the full time strength coach for Union Endicott High School,” said Andrew Long, a strength and conditioning coach for the medical group. “UHS has several contracts with local high schools, I believe 7 or 8 full-time coaches at the local high schools, and lifting is one of my passions, so I got some of the kids involved and it just grew from there.”
Since the group’s formation in 2017, it’s team members have won 12 state records, two national titles and two world titles.
Long said there are many benefits to the sport.
“It builds their confidence up to. So, a 16 year old kid or a 15 year old girl going in, setting a state record in their first meet, is only going to build their confidence and make them feel good about themselves and keep going, keep going. In turn, they’re going to push those around them.”