Over the last few years the NZPF has seen a significant growth in the number of competitors in overseas competition. For those who have not traveled a lot, and especially for first time travelers to Powerlifting events, below is a checklist to help you prepare for what may be the biggest event in your sporting career. It covers all the preparation over and above training. Whether you are going to Sydney for an Oceania event or Outer Mongolia for the Open World Champs, the same preparation should be used, and you will find no nasty surprises to spoil your day.
2 Months Out
1. All documentation to travel agent for Visas.(if needed-usually eastern bloc countries require this, your travel agent can check)
b. Visa Application Form.(if necessary)It can take 3-4 weeks to get a visa.
c. Passport size photo.
d. Letter of invitation.(if necessary)
e. Payment of deposit for airfare, taxes and insurance.
f. Check if you need an International Therapeutic Exemption (TUE) This may be particularly applicable to the Master lifters who are on medication that contain a banned substance- contact the NZPF president for this.
g. Any trust applications for funding should be done at the latest about this time, and certainly before you pay for your fare. ( Local secretaries can help here)
2. Entry forms completed and sent. (NZPF do this).
1 Month Out
1. Check up on vaccinations.
a. Recommended vaccinations against:
b. Hepatitis A(Havirax)
e. Note: These are generally required to be accompanied with passport when entering country. Your doctor can get you a vaccination passport.
2. Hotel booking in place ( NZPF do this only for official venue ).
2-3 weeks out
1. Balance of payment for airfares, taxes and insurance.
1 week out
1. Check quality and type of luggage. Go through all of your lifting gear and wash/ measure everything thoroughly, you don’t want gear refused on the day.
3 days- 1 week out
1. Currency for:
a. Accommodation (usually hotel costs are paid to organiser so will need cash for this)
b. Food Lunch and Dinners @ NZ$40 per day
c. Taxis, trains etc @ NZ$40 per day
d. Also take Visa, MasterCard or Amex with $1000-2000 available limit.
e. Complete IPF consent form (for weigh in)
f. The NZPF will pay the entry fee and this will be given to the manager of the team prior to departure.
g. Take 80% in traveler’s cheques and balance in cash. Use Amex Traveler’s Cheques not Visa.
Note: Depending on the destination some countries esp. ‘third world’ may not change travelers cheques or sting you a very high fee.
1. Packing- unfortunately most airlines only permit a 20kg baggage allowance and a 7kg cabin allowance. They will sting you if you are over, some to the tune of $5-10 per kilo. If in a group, check your baggage together to average out the weight.
a. Pack absolutely necessary lifting items along with personal luggage.
b. I.e. shoes, bench shirt, soft suit and wraps.
c. Some useful items to take.
f. Neck Pillow.
g. Translation Dictionary(if necessary)
h. Currency calculator
i. Waist carry bag. And sewn in pocket for valuables
Hotels (mostly in 3rd world countries)
1. Drink and brush teeth with bottled water
2. Avoid ice in drinks, and don’t accept bottles with broken seals.
3. Don’t use the hotel phone- calls are charged at $50 per 10mins at least!
4. Try to avoid changing currency at hotels- banks have better rates.
5. Negotiate taxi fares before using and when buying gifts etc. Agree on fares etc before getting in!
6. I would also recommend not walking around too much by yourself esp. at night. Not too sure about the crime level in some countries.
7. I have been to competitions where lifters have had belongings stolen out of rooms including passports. If the room has a safe, use it! If there is no safe, the hotel will have a safe you can use. Put your passport, air tickets, money you won’t need just yet and any other valuables in it. Use common sense when lifting and look after your gear and drinks. The response rate to complaints against stolen property in some places is non- existent.
8. Sickness- Watch what you eat, even at the banquet. Food hygiene standards in NZ are very high and safe, whereas lifters can give you all sorts of stories about food poisoning at supposedly high quality venues. If you want to sample the local cuisines, use caution. Nothing spoils a trip faster than several days spent in the toilet, or worse the hospital. And speaking of that, if you do need hospital attention, you will have to pay for everything. So keep all your receipts so you can claim on your insurance.
1. You will need to take passport and IPF consent form with you to venue for ID at weigh in.
2. Speed of contest is really quick, watch for calls or for changes etc. Officials will have to be right up with it. Have a team meeting prior to the contest so everyone knows what they are doing. You should have at least:
a. 1 helper for the lifter (most likely coach)
b. a team strategist ( for knowing how to work out changes, lot draw advantages)
c. a gofer for running to table checking on order and changes from other teams
3. If necessary grab someone from Aussie or another English Speaking country to help. (if other language used)
4. Usually there is a technical meeting the night prior to the competition. I recommend attending this as some useful details can be learned plus you can find out who you are up against!
5. Most international competitions have a manned room in which registrations, transfer information is kept. The manager of the team should be checking on details like:
a. changes in weigh- in times
b. departure information
c. lifter i.d cards
d. lifter packs etc.
6. If you get pulled for a drug test, ensure your manager/coach sticks with you the whole time the test is being conducted. The tests are the same as NZ ones so apply the same rules as you would here. I.e. Keep your sample in sight the entire time and check all documentation before signing.
7. The refereeing in other countries should be the same as it is in NZ. The reality is I have seen some shocking refereeing overseas, and you wonder how these people ever got their tickets. 99% of the time it is consistent, but don’t let strange decisions throw your confidence.
8. Remember, all IPF competitions have a 3 man jury whom all appeals, complaints and queries must be directed to. Any complaints against the referees or refereeing decisions go to the jury. Complaints can be verbal or in writing and should be done immediately after a lift. There will be at least one English speaking member of the jury. But don’t complain unless you know what you are talking about.
9. If you are successful in breaking a world record, the jury will come over and swarm all over you checking your gear is legal, this is normal.
HAVE A GOOD TIME!
New Zealand Powerlifting President