The international federation of para-powerlifting, IPC Powerlifting, announced a five -year partnership on Wednesday (22 October) with globally recognised lifting equipment manufacturer Eleiko.
The deal will see the Swedish-based company, which has a long and illustrious history in weightlifting, provide equipment for all World and regional championships until 2018. Eleiko will also work with IPC Powerlifting to create more awareness of the sport to a new generation of fans from around the world.
The announcement comes shortly after regional championships in Europe, Asia and the Americas were confirmed for 2015, where the highest quality equipment will now be provided by Eleiko. More than 1,000 weightlifting world records have been set with barbells produced by the company.
April's inaugural Americas Open Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, will be the first to benefit, followed by Almaty, Kazakhstan, for July's Asian Open Championships. Then, just 10 months away from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the European Open Championships will be held in Eger, Hungary, in November.
Xavier Gonzalez, IPC Chief Executive Officer, believes the announcement marks another huge step forward for IPC Powerlifting. "We are immensely excited to be working with Eleiko and their expert staff in the years ahead, a period which includes the road to Rio, to officially provide equipment for our highest level competitions.
"Powerlifting is growing all the time and at the 2014 World Championships in Dubai, UAE, we saw a record number of participating athletes and countries, confirming the progress made in recent years.
"This partnership will help us to give athletes more exposure, develop the quality of competition and push forward strongly into an incredibly bright future."
Erik Blomberg, Chief Executive Officer at Eleiko Group, is really proud of the partnership with IPC Powerlifting:
"We are fully committed to support and help promote IPC Powerlifting's efforts of getting more people to discover the benefits of powerlifting."