USA Weightlifting is set to expand access to coaching education courses for the black community through 10 full scholarships.
Ten people from the black community will be granted a full scholarship to take a USA Weightlifting level one or level two course at no charge to the participant.
Membership fees will be waived if the participant is not a current member of USA Weightlifting.
The scholarships have been funded by Mark House of American law firm Becker & House, PLLC.
Expansion of the programme is possible if the demand is such.
“We, like many across the country, are looking inward and wondering how we can do more and better support the black community,” said USA Weightlifting chief executive Phil Andrews.
“I hope this programme can bring more talented coaches to our sport and enrich the lives of our athletes.”
USA Weightlifting’s Coaching Education department is also adding additional content to address systemic racism, white privilege, implicit bias and other issues prevalent in America.
The information will be added to all courses and aims to educate weightlifting coaches about these issues and what they can do in their positions to help bring about change.
These initiatives come amid a renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death sparked protests in the United States, which later spread to other nations.
They follow two other previously announced initiatives – the launch of a fund to increase participation of black referees and a revamp of hiring practices within USA Weightlifting.