USA Weightlifting has bolstered its staff with the addition of two new members in Mike Gattone and Suzy Sanchez.
Gattone, who coached Tara Nott Cunningham, the last American weightlifter to win an Olympic gold medal, will be responsible for an active recruitment strategy for elite athletes.
The former International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board member will also be tasked with supporting the United States national teams in and outside of competition.
The role is supported by funding from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
“Weightlifting is the greatest sport in the world, and I am extremely humbled and excited to be a part of the incredible team serving the athletes and coaches of USA Weightlifting,” Gattone said.
“I’ve been obsessed with this sport since I was a teenager, and being a part of this team while working with a legend like [four-time Olympic medalist] Pyrros Dimas is an incredible opportunity.”
Sanchez, who represented the American team on four occasions and trained at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, has been employed to lead the organization’s growth programs strategy.
The scheme will include significant outreach to multi-sport organizations, schools and youth teams and the holding of development camps across the nation at the introductory level to the sport, according to USA Weightlifting.
As part of her newly-acquired role, Sanchez will also lead a training camp for the 2017 IWF World Championships, scheduled to take place in Anaheim from November 29 to December 6, in Las Vegas.
“I am very excited to join the team here at USA Weightlifting and look forward to growing our sport at the grassroots level and beyond,” Sanchez said.
USA Weightlifting chief executive Phil Andrews said he was delighted with the two appointments.
“In Mike, we gain a unique set of experience which we are super excited to utilize as we strive to support our athletes and develop our support system for them, and in the case of Mike partner with him to recruit more athletes into our pool,” he said.
“We’ve long observed the success of athletes coming in at various ages to our sport.
“Mike will be assisting in identifying and recruiting those athletes into our sport and working with our existing coaches and clubs to find the appropriate fit for them.
“We were seeking an individual totally focused on grassroots growth of the sport, expanding at the base level.
“Suzy will be spending her time opening doors and growing the experience of the barbell through relationships with multi-sport organizations, parks and recreation, schools and other sources of sport-interested individuals.”
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.