By Al Myers
One of the exciting functions that happens every year at the National Championships is the presentation of the USAWA Annual Awards. I have been the USAWA Awards Director since the program began in 2009 and started the selection and presentation of the Annual Awards. These awards are chosen by the membership – with the nomination and voting for each award done by the USAWA members only. So truly when you win one of these Yearly Awards it is because your fellow competitors deamed you worthy of it. All I do is tally the votes.
This is one of my favorite “responsibilities” in the organization. It is gratifying to see my fellow lifters and friends recognized for their accomplishments in the USAWA. The Yearly Awards presentation coincided with the meet awards following the banquet at the West Park Station, a great restaurant/bar selected by the meet promoters Bob and Scott. It was a very festive enviroment, and we were allowed to use the microphone that broadcasted over the entire restaurant. I noticed even others at the restaurant, not involved with the USAWA, clapping for the winners! I was joined by meet promoter Scott Schmidt in giving out the Yearly Awards. Now for this YEARS BIG WINNERS!!!!!
2017 USAWA Annual Awards
Newcomer Award– This award goes to an individual who in new to the USAWA or has become involved again. It doesn’t have to go to someone in their first year of being involved in the USAWA.
Runner Up – Mark Raymond
Winner – Kim Lydon
Courage Award – This goes to an individual who shows the courage to overcome an obstacle in order to return to competition. This may be a comeback from an injury, or just having to deal with difficult personal issues but still shows the courage to compete in the USAWA.
Runner Up – Art Montini
Winner – Rocky Morrison
Sportsmanship Award – This goes to an individual who possesses and shows great sportsmanship within the USAWA. The act of sportsmanship may be by conduct at all events, or by a specific example of exceptional sportsmanship.
Runner Up – LaVerne Myers
Winner – Dean Ross
Leadership Award – This is for an individual that has shown exceptional leadership qualities within the USAWA during the past year. Things that should be looked at are: going above the level expected of an Officer position, promoting sanctioned events with emphasis being on promoting National or World Competitions, promoting the USAWA by developing a strong club, writing articles for publications about the USAWA, or through other means.
Runner Up – Denny Habecker
Winner – Frank Ciavattone
Athlete of the Year – This award is for the individual who has accomplished the most athletically within the last year in the USAWA. Top placings at the Nationals and World Championships should figure in high. Also, participation in other Championship Competitions such as the Heavy Lift Championships, the Grip Championships, the Club Championships, the OTSM Championships, the Team Championships, or the National Postal Championships could factor in. Participation in elite IAWA events such as the Gold Cup should make an influence on earning this award as well.
Runner Up – Eric Todd
Winner – Al Myers
The Club of the Year Award was presented by last year’s Club of the Year, The Dino Gym.
Club of the Year – This is the outstanding club in the USAWA based on meet participation, membership, and promotion of USAWA competitions and events. It is based on points earned throughout the year.
Runner Up – Habecker’s Gym
MEMBERS: Barry Bryan, Aidan Habecker, Denny Habecker, Judy Habecker, William Clark, and Steven Hunt.
Winner – Frank’s Barbell Club
MEMBERS: James Patterson, Tony Patterson, Mark Raymond, Lindsey Beavy, Frankie III Ciavattone, Frank Ciavattone, Jeff Ciavattone, Micheal Driscoll, James Fuller, Jessica Hopps, Kim Lydon, Cassie Morrison, James Morrison, and Rocky Morrison.