AAU Strength Sports 2016 Recognition Program
Now Accepting Applications
The AAU Strength Sports National Executive Committee will accept submissions through August 1, 2016 for the 2016 Strength Sports Hall of Fame, 2016 Brother Bennett Award, 2016 Athletes of the Year, and 2016 Academic All Americans.
Each year, recognition is given to AAU athletes, officials, and coaches who demonstrate the highest standards of athletic achievement, sportsmanship, and dedication to the ideals of AAU Strength Sports. The awards represent the highest recognition bestowed upon any AAU Strength Sports member, and as such, candidates for the AAU Strength Sports awards program must meet strict criteria.
“AAU Strength Sports had a fantastic year in 2015,” said Martin Drake, Strength Sports Chairman. “Weightlifting grew tenfold in the past two years, and the number of meets we hosted across the country in all strength sports grew to more than 50 meets. We also hosted the first AAU World Weightlifting Championships, at the first World Championships Weekend, during which we also contested the Three-Lift Powerlifting Worlds, the Indoor Feats of Strength Worlds, and the AAU MAS Wrestling Worlds. We also had representatives from 16 countries in attendance, and there is continued opportunity for growth for us in the future.
“AAU Strength Sports have been around for 80-plus years, but we are really coming into our own in 2016, with national level sponsors and the top athletes in the world competing at our events, held in top-drawer venues,” he continued.
“As appropriate, our recognition program truly recognizes the Best of the Best. These are the top contributors to strength sports, the best all-around athletes in America, and the people who have given more to our sports than anyone else. They deserve to be recognized.”
Because of the rigorous criteria involved, some awards may not be given in a specific year. A detailed resume outlining the member’s activities in the strength sports must be submitted to the AAU Strength Sports Board of Directors for consideration; the cutoff date for submission of nominations for the Brother Bennett award, Athletes of the Year award, the Hall of Fame and Academic All-American is August 1st of each year. The AAU Strength Sports Board of Directors, and in some instances a panel of judges, will review nominations and select the winners of each award. Recipients will be announced in the Fall.
2016 Brother Bennett Award
The Brother Bennett Award recognizes extraordinary, selfless service to AAU Strength Sports. It is named for a Brother of the Sacred Heart at Saint Stanislaus College, who introduced powerlifting to youth and teens in Mississippi in the mid-1970s. Brother Bennett’s Mississippi Invitational attracted some of the biggest names in powerlifting, and it became one of the first drug-tested powerlifting competitions in the country, paving the way for drug-free competition in the United States. Originally awarded to an AAU Powerlifting member, in the spirit of Brother Bennett, this award is given to one individual annually in AAU Strength Sports who goes above and beyond the norm in supporting athletes, coaches, meet directors and the strength sports in general.
AAU Strength Sports Athlete of the Year
The AAU Strength Sports Athlete of the Year Award (Junior & Senior level) is earned by the male and female athletes with the most successful competitive year, as defined by championship wins and national and world records. Strength Sports Athletes of the Year will be nominated from all AAU Strength Sport disciplines. Junior Athlete of the Year will be chosen from among youth and teen strength sports athletes in grades K through 12. Senior Athlete of the Year will be chosen from among collegiate, open and masters division competitors. The junior and senior male and female Strength Sports Athletes of the Year will receive a custom award recognizing their accomplishments during the world championships.
AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame
Originally founded as the AAU Power Lifting Hall of Fame in 2012, the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the rich history of AAU Strength Sports athletes. From the early days of Olympic weightlifting competition within the AAU, to the first AAU-sanctioned powerlifting meet in the United States more than 50 years ago at York Barbell, to establishment of Strongman-style Feats of Strength competitions and creation of the Combine, AAU has led the way in creating innovative opportunities for powerful athletes to compete.
Inaugural members of the AAU Powerlifting Hall of Fame were inducted at the 2013 AAU Single-Lift and 2013 Three-Lift World Championships in Boston and Las Vegas, respectively. In 2015, the AAU Powerlifting Hall of Fame was renamed the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame, and expanded to include early Olympic Weightlifters and strongmen.
The criteria for election to the Hall of Fame is significant, meaning only a select few will be admitted. Men and Women must have competed in multiple national and international events, and have traveled to National and World meets. Service as a meet director, referee and in an AAU Strength Sports leadership position will be considered. Candidates must have demonstrated a minimum of five years of active participation in AAU Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Feats of Strength or Combine events to be considered. The Strength Sports Board of Directors will endeavor to select at least one individual to the Hall of Fame on an annual basis.
Candidates applying for selection to the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame must submit a detailed resume. Applicants will be judged for entrance into the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame based on national and international competition results, national and world records, service to the strength sports and AAU specifically, and involvement as a leader within the AAU Strength Sports movement.
2016 AAU Strength Sports Academic All Americans
The title of AAU Strength Sports Academic All American is an honorary title bestowed upon Elementary, Middle and High School strength sports athletes. The Executive Committee believes in recognizing academic and athletic excellence, and this recognition will honor school-age athletes in weightlifting, powerlifting, all-sports combine and feats of strength. The Executive Committee will acknowledge individuals selected with a certificate and official announcement will be published on the AAU Strength Sports website. Athletes receiving this honor will typically referred to as "Strength Sports Academic All-Americans".
For 2016, the Academic All-American recognition will be brought in line with the end of the school year. Submissions for 2016 Academic All-American status will take into account the 2015-2016 academic year, and going forward, this program will be tied to the academic school year.
The deadline for submission is August 1, 2016. Athletes nominated must have competed in an AAU Strength Sports meet during the 2015-2016 school year or summers of 2015 and/or 2016, and have a record of excellent academic achievement.
Coaches or parents should complete the fillable pdf here, print, sign, scan and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
AAU Strength Sports will announce its list of Academic All Americans at the World Championship weekend in Las Vegas and online in September.