Jerry Marentette, receiving the Bill Jamison Award, the CPU's highest honour, from Bill in Moose Jaw. (April 2009)
Jerry has been involved with Ontario Powerlifting for over 35 years as a dedicated lifter, coach, meet director, referee and general promoter of the sport.
Starting out as a wrestler in high school, Jerry moved on to powerlifting in June 1974 at his first competition, the London Open. He went on to compete at many Nationals of which he won in his weight class from 1975-83, also representing Canada at the Men's Worlds from 1975-1981. He has competed at the North American Championships and the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships over the years. At the World level, his most recent accomplishment and highlight so far has been winning the Gold Medal for Canada (Masters 2, 82.5 k) for two consecutive years (2007, 2008). In 1981 at the World Championships in Hawaii Jerry coached his sister Pauline and his wife Collette, who brought home the Silver Medal.
For personal reasons Jerry took a break from competing for a few years (1984-88) to spend more time with his young family. During his hiatus from competing he still found time to help coach wherever needed. In 1998, after an industrial accident injured his hand, Jerry persevered and made a full comeback to the sport he loved. In 1999 he became a referee. In 2004, he coached the Canadian Junior Team at the World Championships. He got involved with Special Olympics and physically disabled, making some of the original special equipment needed for the athletes to compete. He still continues to be involved by running events and now includes the Blind and Mentally Challenged. At these events, to help make them memorable for the athletes, he has even donated his own trophies (making new plates) and has presented Best Lifter Awards. His work and dedication in the area of Special Athletes in Powerlifting has been recognized by the City of Windsor.
Jerry is also a promoter of High School lifting. This started when he was in high school himself as he had his own weights which he was allowed to store at the school. He would encourage others to participate. In recent years, he has run and officiated at local High School meets. Jerry's reputation and the friendly and inviting work out environment of his gym has made his name well known in the south western Ontario area among novice and experienced lifters. Young and older lifters migrate to the Power Pit Gym in Belle River hoping to become better lifters in the sport.
At the Power Pit Gym, Jerry continues to coach and encourage all athletes aspiring to become good lifters. At his gym he also attracts athletes who want to do strength training for other sports, most recently a female bobsledder preparing for the Olympics.
Jerry also served on the OPA executive in 1988-89. He works in conjunction with clubs in the USA to help run competitions. He is always more than willing to help other clubs in Ontario when they are putting on a meet to lend them equipment or what ever is necessary to aid them in their effort to hold a competition. He is at present, the Southern representative Chairperson on the OPA executive.
As well as the Powerlifting, Jerry somehow finds time to be involved in other sports in his home town of Belle River. He has organized events and tournaments in slow pitch, darts and horseshoes. Last year, Jerry was nominated for the Windsor/Essex Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as an all-round athlete.
Jerry's enthusiasm and personality portrays an ambassador for the sport of powerlifting. It is for all these reasons that the Ontario Powerlifting Association and its members nominate Jerry Marentette for the CPU Bill Jamison Award this year.