Can you get a scholarship for weightlifting?

Can you get a scholarship for weightlifting

Weightlifting is a popular sport that requires strength, discipline, and dedication. It involves lifting heavy weights in a controlled manner to build muscle and improve overall physical fitness. While weightlifting is often associated with bodybuilding and strength training, it is also recognized as an Olympic sport. As with any sport, there are opportunities for athletes to receive scholarships to help cover the costs of training and competing. In this article, we will explore the question: Can you get a scholarship for weightlifting?

The Rise of Weightlifting Scholarships

In recent years, weightlifting has gained more recognition as a competitive sport, leading to an increase in the number of scholarships available for weightlifters. This is due in part to the growing popularity of the sport and the success of weightlifters at the Olympic level. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), weightlifting is one of the fastest-growing sports in terms of participation among high school students.

In addition, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has been working to promote weightlifting as a sport and increase its presence in universities and colleges. This has led to the establishment of weightlifting scholarships at various institutions around the world.

Types of Weightlifting Scholarships

There are several types of weightlifting scholarships available for athletes, including:

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  • University/College Scholarships: These scholarships are offered by universities and colleges to students who excel in weightlifting. They may cover tuition, room and board, and other expenses related to attending the institution.
  • Athletic Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to athletes who demonstrate exceptional talent and potential in weightlifting. They may cover some or all of the costs associated with training and competing.
  • Private Scholarships: Private organizations, such as weightlifting clubs and foundations, may offer scholarships to support athletes in their training and competition endeavors.

Requirements for Weightlifting Scholarships

Each scholarship has its own set of requirements, but there are some common criteria that weightlifters must meet to be considered for a scholarship. These may include:

  • Academic Performance: Many universities and colleges require athletes to maintain a certain GPA to be eligible for a scholarship. This is to ensure that the athlete is able to balance their academic and athletic commitments.
  • Weightlifting Achievements: Most scholarships for weightlifting require athletes to have a proven track record of success in the sport. This may include winning competitions, setting records, or being ranked nationally or internationally.
  • Physical Fitness: Weightlifting is a physically demanding sport, and athletes must be in top physical condition to compete at a high level. Some scholarships may require athletes to undergo a physical fitness test to assess their strength and endurance.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Many scholarships require athletes to submit letters of recommendation from coaches, trainers, or other individuals who can attest to their skills and potential as a weightlifter.

Examples of Weightlifting Scholarships

There are numerous scholarships available for weightlifters at the university, college, and private level. Here are a few examples:

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  • The USA Weightlifting Scholarship: This scholarship is offered by USA Weightlifting, the national governing body for the sport in the United States. It is awarded to athletes who have demonstrated exceptional performance in weightlifting and have a strong academic record.
  • The IWF Scholarship: The International Weightlifting Federation offers scholarships to athletes from developing countries who have the potential to compete at the international level. The scholarship covers training and competition expenses, as well as educational support.
  • The Bob Takano Weightlifting Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who have a passion for weightlifting and plan to continue competing at the collegiate level. It is offered by the Bob Takano Weightlifting Club in California.

Success Stories of Weightlifting Scholarship Recipients

Many weightlifters have benefited from scholarships and have gone on to achieve great success in the sport. One such example is Sarah Robles, a two-time Olympian and bronze medalist in weightlifting. Robles received a scholarship from the USA Weightlifting Foundation, which helped her cover the costs of training and competing while she pursued her degree in kinesiology.

Another success story is that of Harrison Maurus, a rising star in the world of weightlifting. Maurus received a scholarship from the IWF and has since gone on to win multiple national and international competitions, including a silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games.

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The Benefits of Weightlifting Scholarships

Receiving a scholarship for weightlifting can have numerous benefits for athletes, including:

  • Financial Support: Scholarships can help cover the costs of training, equipment, and competition fees, which can be a significant burden for athletes and their families.
  • Access to Top Coaches and Facilities: Many scholarships provide athletes with access to top coaches and training facilities, which can greatly enhance their performance and help them reach their full potential.
  • Opportunities for Higher Education: Scholarships can open doors for athletes to attend prestigious universities and colleges, which may not have been possible without financial support.
  • Recognition and Exposure: Receiving a scholarship can bring recognition and exposure to an athlete, which can lead to sponsorship opportunities and other forms of support.


In conclusion, the answer to the question “Can you get a scholarship for weightlifting?” is a resounding yes. With the growing popularity of the sport and the efforts of organizations like the IWF and USA Weightlifting, there are now more opportunities than ever for weightlifters to receive scholarships to support their athletic and academic pursuits. Whether you are a high school student looking to continue competing at the collegiate level or an aspiring Olympian, there are scholarships available to help you achieve your goals in weightlifting.

If you are a weightlifter looking for scholarship opportunities, be sure to research and apply for scholarships that align with your goals and qualifications. With hard work, dedication, and the support of a scholarship, you could be on your way to achieving success in weightlifting at the highest level.

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