A Great Weight Lifted: The History of the British Amateur Weightlifting Association

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite its longevity as an Olympic sport, Olympic weightlifting has yet to receive sustained scholarly attention, an observation made all the more confusing when one considers weightlifting’s inclusion at the 1896 Olympic Games and its rich nineteenth century history. The dearth of studies on weightlifting outside of the United States can be found in the paucity of histories on individual national federations. This is certainly the case in Great Britain where BAWLA (the British Amateur Weightlifting Association) was founded in the early 1900s. This article provides the first comprehensive history of BAWLA’s foundation and, in doing so, establishes the reliance that British weightlifting had on European weightlifting in terms of athletes, organizers and inspiration. First founded in 1901, BAWLA ceased operating before re-emerging in the 1910s. The purpose of this article is two-fold. First it discusses BAWLA’s creation (in both instances) and, more importantly, highlights its European relationships. The article thus stresses the transnational influences existing in British weightlifting and physical culture during this period.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSport in History
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Oct 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'A Great Weight Lifted: The History of the British Amateur Weightlifting Association'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this