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How did powerlifting start in Singapore?

In 2009, Mr Tan Say Yong, a Singaporean working in the USA, came in 1st in his category during the California State Games powerlifting meet. When he returned, his passion and keen interest in this sport were further fuelled after meeting after Mr Tom Liaw, president of the Singapore Weightlifting Federation (SWF), who is also a keen supporter of powerlifting. With the collaboration with SWF, Say Yong and a small group of volunteers formed the Powerlifting Singapore group and organized the 1st local powerlifting meet in 2011, The Singapore National Open 2011. Although done on a very small scale with only 13 participants, this inaugural meet sparked interests from keen sportsmen from the local strength community- hence the birth of the powerlifting “scene”!


From Say Yong’s small and humble interest group in 2011, Powerlifting Singapore continued to hold SPO12 (Singapore Powerlifting Open) and SPO13, where national records were being broken year by year. Today SPO has become an annual national sporting event in Singapore which attracts participants and spectators from all parts of Singapore and as well as the neighbouring countries, such as East and West Malaysia, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and even the USA and UK. In 2013, powerlifting caught the attention of a home grown gym, The Gym Nation, and in preparation for the SPO13 event, The Gym Nation organized a try-out which unexpectedly drew strong interests from the local community. A total of 30 individuals signed up!


Powerlifting has come a long way up till this day and with the immense hard work of a group of individuals with common interest and goals, Powerlifting (Singapore) is now an officially recognised association known as “Powerlifting (Singapore)”. With massive support from bigger nations which already have established powerlifting federations under the Asian Powerlifting Federation (APF) and International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), Powerlifting (Singapore) is edging closer and closer to getting that recognition herself.


As of 28 June 2014, Powerlifting (Singapore) has also officially endorsed and adopted Anti-Doping Singapore (ADS) drug control policy and regulation as our own. This partnership will take this sport even further in always ensuring a fair playing field for all, on and off competition. Powerlifting (Singapore) will be committed to this program and will invest resources in doping control and education in the local powerlifting scene.

Please refer to the ‘Anti-Doping’ section for more information regarding anti-doping and the download link to the clause.