Frank Lamp – Founder of Australian Powerlifting
89-year-old Frank Lamp is a man many of you that have been involved with the sport of Powerlifting over the last 30 years have never heard of…… and yet this is the man that started Powerlifting here in West Australia in 1972 and along with two others; Yuri Sterns and Bill Keir that same year formed the national body – the Australian Amateur Powerlifting Federation (AAPLF), with Frank becoming the inaugural President, a position he held until 1985.
Later that same year on November 15th 1972, Powerlifting was officially recognised as a national sport and in doing so broke away from the Australian Weightlifting Association who up to that point had controlled all Powerlifting activities (here in WA due to Frank’s involvement with the WA Weightlifting Association it was left combined until 1975).
The first Powerlifting nationals were also held that year on Frank’s home turf taking place at the Carousel Shopping Centre in Cannington, West Australia.
His contribution and influence to the sport locally, nationally and internationally has been substantial.
From 1973 through to 1985 he served as Vice President for the International Powerlifting Federation (Oceania Region) and as member of the executive of the IPF.
He served as an elected member on the Technical, Disciplinary and Certification Committees with the IPF from 1976 to 1985 influencing the growth and shaping the sport.
He officiated at 6 World Championships from the inaugural event held in 1975 Birmingham England, 1976 York, Pennsylvania USA, 1978 Turku Finland, 1980 Gothenburg, Sweden and 1984 Dallas, Texas USA.
Bringing the IPF Men’s Open World Championships to Perth in 1977 was a highlight. This event became the world’s first televised Powerlifting meet thanks to some slick work from Frank that involved Channel 9 and Britain’s BBC.
He was again at the forefront in 1984 when Perth hosted the combined Junior/Masters World Powerlifting Championships.
That same year Frank, at the request of IPF visited Indonesia to establish the Asian Powerlifting Federation and to oversee the staging and running of the inaugural Powerlifting championships.
During his time, he attended every national championship the AAPLF had; apart from 1981.
To help gain Powerlifting coverage Frank established (in February 1977) the magazine “Powerlifting International”. The magazine was very well received by all Powerlifting nations who would contribute a vast range of articles, photos and result; Information which has since proved invaluable for anyone seeking past achievements. In all, 22 editions were published ceasing publication in 1980 from which Powerlifting USA took over.
Under the AAPF Frank was the first person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a fact that sadly seems to be lost to those at the head of today’s IPF affiliates Powerlifting Australia (PA).
His contribution as I stated earlier to Powerlifting has been huge and not just to West Australia, he has had a global influence but it doesn’t stop there, his work with Olympic Weightlifting and All Round Weightlifting communities are just as or even more impressive.
As far as can be ascertained he is the only administrator who has been a championship director/organiser of all three-recognised strength sports I.E 1977 World Open Powerlifting Championships and 1984 World Junior/Masters World Powerlifting Championships, 1994 World Masters Weightlifting Championships; 1993 and 2003 World All Round Championships.
As a competitor on the 24th of June 2005 Frank competed in his last competition at the Australian Weightlifting Federation master’s championships winning a Gold Medal in the 105kg Division 70-74 age group.
In the 2017 WAPA Powerlifting Championships Water Francis (Frank) Lamp will be inducted into the West Australian Hall of Fame – something that should have happened a long time ago and yes there will be a trophy presented in his honour but more on that to come.
If you see Frank say “hello” and thank the great man…. A little thanks and recognition goes a long way.