2011 a year in review
The Australian Armwrestling Federation was formed in 1998. The growth of the sport has been small and very slow, taking two steps forward one step back. However, AT LAST, in 2011 it seems the Sport of Armwrestling has finally taken off!
In February 2011 the AAF held a very successful meeting in Sydney. Four Australian States were represented, resulting in several Clubs being formed. Ryan Phillips and Sam Saffuri now have Clubs in Queensland, Nick Tiliacos and Jason Deng have formed a Club in Sydney and Armwrestling pioneers, Phil Rasmussen and Brenden Downes, not only run a successful Club in Melbourne, they also developed our own website, www.armwrestlingaustralia.com. With the website up and running, it has drawn an amazing amount of interest, as well as connecting pullers from all over the country.
Under the direction of Phil Rasmussen and Brendan Downes, The AAF held the 1ST Annual Australian Armwrestling Championships in Melbourne in November. With great media coverage, a very successful tournament was staged with competitors coming from all over the country to participate. At 80 kg, Sam Saffuri showed his International experience by dominating and becoming The Australian Overall Champion. Slavko Martinov and Nick Tiliacos, both from Sydney, were crowned Australian Champions in their right hand divisions and Martins Lorencis along with the outstanding Brett Coutts took the titles in the left handed divisions.
In December Nick Tiliacos and Jason Deng promoted an outstanding tournament in Bankstown, Sydney. The two Saffuri brothers, Edward and Chris were the dominant forces, while brother Sam refereed before flying out to Kazakhstan that night to compete in the World Championships. However it was Nick Tiliacos who was the Star of the day. The incredible natural talent of Brett Coutts, Joe Zrno, Jesse Johnson, Amir Singh, Mohammad Saad and Slavko Martinov all emerged with scary potential for the future.
Next month we will be putting into place Officers and State Representatives to form the Executive Committee of the Australian Armwrestling Federation for 2012. We will also be asking you all to join and become a member of the AAF which will require an annual subscription of $30. The AAF needs to raise money to develop the Sport further and back promoters to stage competition through out the country . The Federation also needs financial aid to help send a team for the World Championships in Brazil in September. Qualification is not necessary to be a member on the Australian team as there are many slots open in so many divisions. It is open to anyone willing to go. We want to send as many people as possible, so if you would like to represent Australia in a sport, we welcome you to participate. The experience will be invaluable not to mention the pride in representing your country!
I am also very happy to announce that Armwrestling is now developing in New Zealand as well. The New Zealanders have also produced their own website, Sons of Samson. Last October in Auckland, I met with a very enthusiastic group of talented and impressive pullers. The 2012 NZ Armwrestling Championships has been scheduled for August and the NZAF is also very keen to send a team to the 2012 World Championships in Brazil.
So 2011 was an extremely productive year for Armwrestling in both Australia and New Zealand. With tournaments being held and the formation of clubs, it seems that at last our sport is taking roots! I congratulate and thank so many for the work and enthusiasm that you have put into making our sport happen and take off in this past 12 months.
If you are new to the sport, keep at it. Armwrestling is a combination of Strength, Technique and Speed, all of which can be learned and developed separately. Anyone can become a Champion, you just need to develop your skills and practice. Good luck to you all for a fun and successful 2012!