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15 Mar 2017


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The AAU Strength Sports National Executive Committee will accept submissions for the 2017 Strength Sports Hall of Fame, 2017 Brother Bennett Award, and 2017 Athletes of the Year through July 15, 2017.

Each year, recognition is given to AAU athletes, officials, and coaches who demonstrate the highest standards of athletic achievement, sportsmanship, and dedication to the ideals of AAU Strength Sports. The awards represent the highest recognition bestowed upon any AAU Strength Sports member, and as such, candidates for the AAU Strength Sports awards program must meet strict criteria.

“We had a record year in 2016,” said Martin Drake, Strength Sports Chairman. “Weightlifting is growing by leaps and bounds, and the number of strength sports meets AAU is hosting each year is growing significantly. In 2016, we also brought bodybuilding back to its roots in AAU, and we are expecting a great competition year in 2017.”

The AAU Recognition Program recognizes the best AAU Strength Sports athletes and contributors. Because of the rigorous criteria involved, some awards may not be given in a specific year. A detailed resume outlining the member’s activities in the strength sports must be submitted to the AAU Strength Sports Board of Directors for consideration; the cutoff date for submission of nominations for the Brother Bennett award, Athletes of the Year award, and the Strength Sports Hall of Fame will be July 15. The AAU Strength Sports Board of Directors and a panel of judges will review nominations and select the winners of each award. Recipients will be announced in September at the AAU World Powerlifting, Weightlifting and Feats of Strength Championships in Las Vegas.

2017 Brother Bennett Award
The Brother Bennett Award recognizes extraordinary, selfless service to AAU Strength Sports. It is named for a Brother of the Sacred Heart at Saint Stanislaus College, who introduced powerlifting to youth and teens in Mississippi in the mid-1970s. Brother Bennett’s Mississippi Invitational attracted some of the biggest names in powerlifting, and it became one of the first drug-tested powerlifting competitions in the country, paving the way for drug-free competition in the United States. Originally awarded to an AAU Powerlifting member, in the spirit of Brother Bennett, this award is given to one individual annually in AAU Strength Sports who goes above and beyond the norm in supporting athletes, coaches, meet directors and the strength sports in general.

2017 Strength Sports Athlete of the Year
The AAU Strength Sports Athlete of the Year Award (Junior & Senior level) is earned by the male and female athletes with the most successful competitive year, as defined by championship wins and national and world records. Strength Sports Athletes of the Year will be nominated from all AAU Strength Sport disciplines. Junior Athlete of the Year will be chosen from among youth and teen strength sports athletes in grades K through 12. Senior Athlete of the Year will be chosen from among collegiate, open and masters division competitors. The junior and senior male and female Strength Sports Athletes of the Year will receive a custom award recognizing their accomplishments during the world championships.

During the past two years, the only nominations received have been for junior-level athletes. Meet directors and competitors are strongly encouraged to submit nominations for strength sports athletes of all ages who meet the criteria of excellence to become an athlete of the year.

AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame
Originally founded as the AAU Power Lifting Hall of Fame in 2012, the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the rich history of AAU Strength Sports athletes. From the early days of Olympic weightlifting competition within the AAU, to the first AAU-sanctioned powerlifting meet in the United States more than 50 years ago at York Barbell, to establishment of Strongman-style Feats of Strength competitions and creation of the Combine, to the return of AAU Bodybuilding, AAU has led the way in creating innovative opportunities for powerful athletes to compete.

Inaugural members of the AAU Powerlifting Hall of Fame were inducted at the 2013 AAU Single-Lift and 2013 Three-Lift World Championships in Boston and Las Vegas, respectively. In 2015, the AAU Powerlifting Hall of Fame was renamed the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame, and expanded to include early Olympic Weightlifters and strongmen.

The criteria for election to the Hall of Fame is significant, meaning only a select few will be admitted. Men and Women must have competed in multiple national and international events, have traveled to National and World meets, and have conducted their efforts in the spirit of drug-free competition. Service as a meet director, referee and in an AAU Strength Sports leadership position will be considered.

Candidates must have demonstrated a minimum of five years of active participation in AAU Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Feats of Strength, Combine and now bodybuilding events to be considered. The Strength Sports Board of Directors will endeavor to select at least one individual to the Hall of Fame on an annual basis.

Candidates applying for selection to the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame must submit a detailed resume. Applicants will be judged for entrance into the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame based on national and international competition results, national and world records, service to the strength sports and AAU specifically, and involvement as a leader within the AAU Strength Sports movement.

Nominations for all AAU Strength Sports awards should be submitted to John Crofton at, and Doug Brachear at; for questions regarding submissions, contact Doug at 217-827-5696 or John at 318-572-0890.

AAU Strength Sports will announce all award recipients at the 2017 AAU World Championship weekend in Las Vegas and online in September.

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