Special to The Sun
The University of Central Oklahoma Wellness Center will host the final USA ParaPowerlifting qualifying meet at 10:30 a.m. Sunday as several athletes attempt to claim their spot in the 2014 IPC World Championships.
Two athletes have yet to qualify and another, who is in a different weight category, will attempt to re-qualify for the world championships that take place April 5-11 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Team USA has already qualified 10 athletes, a record for the program.
Following the event, a training camp will take place for the qualified team members on Feb. 16-17. This weekend’s event is free and open to the public.
The university also is fundraising for the 10 qualified athletes through the “Road to Dubai” campaign to help to support their trip to the world championships.
“We’ve been given a tremendous opportunity by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to develop this sport and these athletes to be the best in our country and in the world. Because the sport is somewhat new, funding is limited,” said Ryan Siler, development manager at the UCO Wellness Center.
“Many of these athletes work, train, raise families and/or attend school. We’re reaching out to those who have a passion for this sport and those who feel led to donate to these efforts.”
Central Oklahoma is designated as a High Performance Management Organization for the sport of Para Powerlifting by the USOC. All ParaPowerlifting athletes train at UCO.
Central also is an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site and is the host training site for men and women sitting volleyball teams. Athletes can train for Olympic volleyball and any Paralympic sport at the university. Currently, Central hosts resident athletes in the Paralympic sports of sitting volleyball, archery, track and field and powerlifting and the Olympic sport of taekwondo.
FOR MORE information on this weekend’s event, contact Kim Stuck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-974-3136. To give to the “Road to Dubai” campaign, visit http://bit.ly/MLwD1X or call 405-974-3137 or email email@example.com.