NANAIMO – Weightlifters from around the Island, across the province, and other parts of western Canada, will be in town for the 2018 Island Invitational this weekend.
It's the fourth annual event put on by the Hercules Weightlifting Club, and it continues to see massive growth.
The inaugural competition in 2015 had only about 20 athletes but they're expecting about 120 Saturday and Sunday at Prime Sports.
Organizer Raf Korkowski says they've got a full range of male and female competitors from the ages of 11 up to 64-years-old.
He credits the Nanaimo Hospitality Association grant program with helping to raise the profile of the Island Invitational.
The host club will have 30 lifters at the event as Hercules looks to win the Best Overall Team for the fourth year in a row.
Nanaimo lifters Dallyn Giroux and Ayden Houle prepare for the Island Invitational
Both Saturday and Sunday will be full days of lifting from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. which Korkowski says will culminate in the marquee events at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Hercules Weightlifting started in Winnipeg in 1998 and the Nanaimo chapter began five years ago when Korkowski and his father moved to Nanaimo.
The club started in the family garage and now boasts 50 members from up and down the Island and even members from some other parts of Canada.
Korkowski says they want to continue to grow the sport of weightlifting in Nanaimo and on Vancouver Island, and they have the expertise and the equipment to help athletes achieve their goals.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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