Heading to Canada for assistant coach role

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Exciting role . . . Dunedin personal trainer Tom Hart is thrilled to be assistant powerlifting coach for New Zealand at the World Championships, to be held in Calgary, Canada, in June. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Personal trainer Tom Hart is over the moon to be selected as the assistant coach for the New Zealand World Championship powerlifting team heading to Calgary, Canada, at the beginning of June.

Hart (23) applied for the position in early March and found out he was successful about three weeks later.

“I’m really happy to get the call up. It’s just the next step into my career,” he said.

Hart will be joining a small coaching team with one head coach and about four other assistant coaches.

His role involves being in charge of three athletes and working with them on the day.

New Zealand will be sending about 25 athletes to the games and Hart is very excited to experience the atmosphere.

“I’m really looking forward to being up against world class opposition and coaches – people are going for the world title over there, so there will be bigger risks. It’s going to be exciting to see,” he said.

Hart has a successful track record, having coached at the Commonwealth powerlifting championships in 2015, and Oceania powerlifting championships 2016.

He coaches Tim Monigatti, who is ranked fourth overall going into the world championships.

Hart also coaches 25 powerlifting athletes through his online business The Strength Architect, which he believes has helped him to win the assistant coach role.

“It’s my niche market. It’s helped me branch out and connect with a lot more powerlifters across the country.”

Hart took up powerlifting in 2013, after a season of body building. He was drawn to powerlifting after realising he preferred the “physical performance side rather than the image of your body”.

Earlier this month, he competed in the Southern Championships and placed third best male lifter overall.

He began coaching in 2014 and gets “more gratification out of the coaching side of the sport”.

“People have a lot more talent than what I do at actual powerlifting. I find the coaching side is much more rewarding,” he said.

Hart will take three weeks off work to attend the world championships and will pay his own way. The amateur sport does not receive any government funding, he said.

The thought crossed his mind not to apply for the job due to the cost, but the drive to coach powerlifting at an elite level outweighed the expense.

When he returns from Canada, Hart will attend the national powerlifting championships in August, where 15 of his athletes will compete.