About our club


The Hawthorn Weightlifting Club has been a breeding ground for elite athletes for over 50 years. Hawthorn has helped young people grow into responsible adults, and helped young and old alike in achieving their dreams of representing their country in sport. Hawthorn is still a breeding ground for success - as well as producing elite Weightlifters, we can also help ahtletes from other sports reach their potential in their own sport - be it rowing, athletics, cycling, football or any other sport. There are approximately 50 athletes that currently train at Hawthorn, ranging from beginners to the top athletes in the country. Olympic Weightlifting is an equal oppurtunity, barrier free sport - Please feel free to enquire about us and find out if we can help you in your chosen sport, or if Weightlifting is the sport for you.

About Weightlifting

Olympic style Weightlifting - the epitomy of Olympic sport. Olympic Weightlifting is a sport which wavers between absolute glory and total failure. You either have a gigantic amout of weight above your head or you don't. The lifts are incredibly simplistic - yet, to perform them well, one requires speed, flexibility, agility and finesse as well as strength. To watch is akin to watching an auction with weight instead of money. As when purchasing goods, the highest number wins. There are of course rules along the way - how many bids you can make and when you can make them, but ultimately, the biggest number wins. Competing in weightlifting provides you with the largest sense of self satisfaction possible - knowing you are confident, fast and strong.

Rules & Format

Essentially, the first rule of Weightlifting is to lift the weight above your head. It's the conditions that make this difficult; having to lift the bar in a smooth movement, only your feet being able to touch the ground and your arms having to extend simultaneously are just some of these conditions. You can find the complete technical rules of the sportĀ here. There are 3 referees that decide if the lift is 'a Good Lift' or a 'No Lift'. Depending on the competition, there are between 3 to 5 Jury members to determine whether the referees are making correct decisions. There will be at least 1 Technical Controller to act as a conduit between the Jury and the warm up room. There will be a timekeeper to control the clock. The sport of weightlifting has the following basic format that is rarely deviated from:

Weigh In - Only the competitors and coaches need to know about this section of the competition. It generally commences 2 hours before the start of competition and concludes 1 hour before the start of competition. The competitors and their coaches need to be at this event - no spectators required. As the name suggests this is when the athlete hops on the scales and his or her bodyweight is recorded for use in the competition.

Presentation - This generally commences 15 minutes before the start of the competition, and consists of presentation of athletes and officials. Spectators are required to watch their favourite athletes.

Competition - This is the main attraction - what most people paid money to watch. There is upward progression of the bar, and the person who lifts the highest combined weight (Snatch and Clean and Jerk) wins. There is a 10 minute intermission between Snatches and Clean and Jerks for the athletes to warm up for the Clean and Jerks.

Medal presentation - There will be a winner, and they will be presented with their medal(s) or trophies. Spectators may wish to stay for this.

Things To Watch

1) The Athlete - this is specifically what you came to watch

2) The scoreboard - this is a valuable source of information for you to determine which athlete is taking what weight and therefore who requires what weight to win.

3) Timeclock and Technical Controller - there may be times when the competion seems to stop (or may stop). You can turn this into thrilling suspense by watching the timeclock and the Technical Controller to see if there are any rule breaches or overruled decisions.


There is simple attire which is required for you when training and competing in Weightlifting:

Training Attire

Weightlifting Shoes - The Weightlifting shoes are sport specific athletic footwear. They consist of a solid sole (usually wood) and an enclosed upper. If for whatever reason you do not have a pair of weightlifting shoes, you may get by with a sturdy pair of school shoes. Standard athletic shoes ('runners', 'sneakers' or 'cross trainers') are not recommended.

Shorts - Tight fitting shorts (lycra fabric) and close fitting t-shirts (not polo shirts) are recommended as the elastic fabric will move with your body and not tear or become entangled with the equipment.

Additional Training Equipment - Optional training equipment which can be used in training include pulling straps, knee wraps and Weightlifting belts. This attire is the suitable attire for training.

Competition Attire

Weightlifting Shoes - As above

Weightlifting 'Suit' - A tight fitting unisuit (typically made of lycra) is required. The unisuit covers from above the knee to the shoulder, but does not cover the knees or elbows

Optional Competition Attire - Optional personal equipment which can be used in competition includes belts, knee and wrist bandages and strapping tape.

Competition attire may be used in training, however training attire may not be used in competition.