Team Members for Upcoming International Events

Total Count: 33, effective May 15 (plus 1 event already completed, 2 team members total)


Men's and Women's Classic Worlds, June 1 - 8, Poochefstrom, South Africa

Avi Silverberg, Head Coach

Avi has a strong commitment to the development of powerlifting and the sport generally. To this end, he is a coach of many competitive powerlifting athletes, and was selected as the head coach for the World Bench Press Team in 2012, coaching sub-junior Connor Christensen to a silver medal podium finish. As well, Avi is a member of the Alberta Powerlifting Union executive committee, a provincial-level referee, and director of many local and provincial powerlifting competitions.

As an athlete, Avi is a 3-time World Bench Press Team member, achieving a bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships. As well, Avi is a two-time recipient of the best overall bench press award at the National Championships, and in 2011 Avi was inducted into the Canadian Powerlifting Union hall of fame.

Beyond the gym, Avi is a teacher and a graduate student in kinesiology with a research focus on powerlifting and the aging process.

Elaine Huba, Assistant Cooach

I became involved in the sport in 2010 as an athlete and competed for two years before coaching. I now have an Alberta Powerlifting Union sanctioned team and coach 12 athletes at the local, provincial and national level.

I'm also a personal trainer and utilize the powerlifting movements as the core structure for my clients' training programs, which specialize in strength development. I'm passionate about powerlifting because it is a sport that encourages inclusive participation and involvement in drug-free sport regardless of age, gender and many physical limitations.

Kevin Farrell, Assistant Coach

Hello, my name is Kevin Farrell, I am a Personal Trainer, Coach, Owner and Operator of NL Kettlebells in St. John's, Newfoundland. I have completed my SFG level 1 under Pavel Tsatsouline and Daniel John. My other certifications include but are not limited to; Exercises for injuries with Risk Kaselj, TFW level 1, Course Correctives with Daniel John, Powerlifting with Julia Ledewski, Olympic Weightlifting level 1. I myself, have been competing in Powerlifting for just over a year now, but have coached over 12 athletes, at the regional, provincial, national level, for over 2 years, and now have 4 athletes competing at the world level. Powerlifting is my passion and I am excited to be a part of this coaching team.

John Smart, Assistant Coach

Biography to follow

Harnek Rai, Category 1 Referee

I am in Powerlifting for 40 years. As a lifter I competed for over 30 years. I won Ontario and Canadian Powerlifting and Bench press championships many times. Competed at world level and won a bronze in bench press. Judged IPF worlds, Blind Worlds, fire and police worlds, a few Pan American and many CPU Nationals. As meet director organized many Open Toronto, Ontario and 1997 CPU National powerlifting Championship. I am referee for over 25 years and a member of CPU Anti Doping Committee. I am in Ontario and CPU powerlifting Hall of Fame (Bill Jamison Award.) I have been honored by Ontario Government twice for my sports and community work. I am a member of city of Brampton Sports Hall of Fame selection board. Good luck to our lifters.

Janessa Ward, 84+kg Sub-Junior

I am 17 years old from Newfoundland, Canada. Currently holding 10 provincial powerlifting records and broke the national deadlift record at nationals in March. I have only been involved in powerlifting for less then a year however I enjoy it and find a great reward knowing I have overcome an elbow and knee injury. I wouldn't have been able to get this far without my coach and my #1 fan Kevin Farrell.

Breann Thiessen, 52 kg Junior

This is my first year lifting. I hold all of the provincial records for my weight class, and I hold 7 national records. I won "best female junior lifter" at the Canada nationals and won my weight class. I enjoy Powerlifting because it allows me to create my own sport culture and I feel that God has called me to compete. I also enjoy lifting heavy things :

Samantha Solie, 57 Junior

- I year Powerlifting
- Junior Commonwealth Squat record.

Samantha Taylor, 72 kg Junior

For the past 3 years I have spent time powerlifting with the goal in mind to enter the Polic force. I found a passion for this sport in the process. This year I placed 1st in my weight class in Provincial and National competition. It has been a successful year with more to come.

Kristin Elliot, 72 kg Junior

Lifting for 8 months. I love powerlifting because of the rush of picking up a lot of weight. I also like being able to see progress in numbers. Silver at 2014 CPU Nationals. Competed in 2 competitions. Aspiring firefighter. I play soccer and hockey.

Samantha Pretty, 84+ kg Junior

I started lifting about 1 year ago. Competed in my first competition in November 2013 and my first National competition in April 2014. I love lifting because you train hard for competitions to try and hit PRs, and lift heavy weight! What not to like ?! There is nothing I like doing more when having a bad day or in a bad mood, to just be able to go into the gym and lift weight!!

Stephanie Puddicome, 47 kg Open

I started powerlifting about a year ago and was immediately addicted. 2014 was my first national competition where I placed first in my weight class and won best overall female lifter, also I set 11 national records that day. Powerlifting makes me feel empowered and powerful. As a female I think these are great traits to have. You can be competitive with yourself to beat your own personal records, competitive in a weight class, and competitive overall. I absolutely adore the sport and can't wait to represent Team Canada at Worlds.

Jessica Benedetto, 57 kg Open

4 years of powerlifting:
- 2012- Provincial best overall lifter
- National record equipped benchpress -57Kg
- Provincial referee certification
- 2013- CPU Nationals Best overall lifter and benchpress
- Silver medalist -63 open classic powerlifting
- Gold medalist -63 open equipped benchpress
- Bronze medalist -63 open classic powerlifting (benchpress) 1st IPF World Champ. Suzdal, Russia
- Commonwealth -63 open benchpress record holder
- CPU female benchpress of the year
- 2014- Gold medalist -57 open classic powerlifting Arnold Sport Festival, Ohio, USA
- CPU Nationals gold medalist -57 open classic powerlifting
- Commonwealth -57 open classic squat, bench and total records holder
- #1 ranked all-time classic female powerlifting FQD
- #3 ranked all-time classic female powerlifting CPU


Eileen Du Plooy, 72 kg Open

Only been lifting for a year, I love the competitive nature of the sport and sportsmanship (in the sense that competitors cheer each other on. Canadian Champion in the 72kg classic category, hold the squat, bench, deadlift and total record in this category

Matthew Jessome, 74 kg Sub-Jun

I have been lifting for 3 1/2 years now. I have won a provincial, eastern and national titles. I like powerliftiong because it tests my strength and it is a really fun sport to be in.

Josh Hancott, 74 kg Junior

I have been competing since 2011. I like powerlifting because the individual aspect of the sport. I competed in the 2013 Arnold Raw Challenge and placed 1st for 74kg Jr. 2014 74kg Jr National Champion. 2014 Best Jr Lifter at Nationals. 11 current national records. 1 previous commonwealth and world record in squat. Looking to winning the World Title this year in 2014 and breaking multiple world records.

Randy Zhou, 83 kg Junior

Canadian National 83kg Junior records in squat, deadlift, and overall. Provincial Records in 83kg and 93kg junior. 2014 CPU Junior 83kg Champion. I've been competing in powerlifting for about 2 and half years now. My first contest was the BCPA fall classic in 2011.

Kojo Gyennin, 74 kg Open

I have been lifting competitively for almost 6 years. I currently hold provincial records along with the national and commonwelath records in the deadlift and overall total. Also I am ranked in the top 3 "All time Classic Men's top 100" for over a year.

Connor Lutz, 83 Junior Classic, 3-lift

- 2.5 Years Powerlifting
- World Junior Bench Press Record
- Silver Overall at Classic Worlds 2013 83 kg Junior class.

Robert King, 83 kg Master 1

I am head coach, owner and creator of Heavyweights Training Center. My passion in life is health & fitness, and I love what I do. I started my fitness journey many years ago. I opened my business in my parents’ house while I was a part-time personal trainer at the local YMCA just across the street. From that day forward, I knew what I wanted to do, and I never looked back. I have been in the fitness profession now for almost 20 years.

Kevin Weiss, 93 kg Master 1

30 years of lifting.  2014 CPU Championships 1st 93kg M1

Ron Delany 83 Master 3 Equipped, 3-lift

Lifting for 25 years, 12 ( or more ) national, 1 north american and 3 world titles



North American Championships, July, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Ryan Stinn, Coach

Ryan has coached a number of IPF World and North American teams, in addition to have run multiple nation and world championships. Next year he and the Saskatchewan group will host this same meet, North American Championships, in Moose Jaw.

Jill McFarlane, 47 kg Open, Classic

Biography to follow

No Photo Joanna Rieber, 52 kg Open, Classic

Biography to follow

Rhaea Stinn, SK

I began powerlifting in 2003, after being inspired by my brother, Ryan Fowler. I competed at my first National Championships that same year, and have competed at every Nationals since 2003. In 2005, I competed at my first World Championship, and I have competed Internationally every year since.. Some of my most noteable achievements are: winning the 2006 75kg Sub-Junior World Championships, as well as Sub-Junior Champion of Champion the same year; finishing 2nd in the 75kg weightclass at the 2008 Open World Championships, which qualified me to compete at the World Games in 2009; holding a Junior World Bench Press record in 2009 and 2010; winning the 84+ 2011 Junior World Championships in my hometown of Moose Jaw. I wouldn't be at the level I am without the help of Jeff Butt, Ryan Fowler, Ryan Stinn, and all of my training partners.

Linda McFeeters, 72 kg M2, Classic

Biography to follow

No Photo Aaron Hopkins, 66 kg Sub-Junior Classic

Biography to follow

No Photo Mark Wasson, 83 kg Open, Classic

Biography to follow

No Photo Ryan Lapadat, 93 kg Open, Classic

Biography to follow

Tom Nicholls, 120 kg M2, Classic

Biography to follow

John MacDonald, 120 kg Open, Equipped

I have been a CPU member since 1998, I have 1 Commonwealth, 2 North American and 12 National titles. At the 2006 IPF World Championshis in Sofia Bulgaria I won the bronze medal in the Squat and Total while taking the Gold home in the Bench press. This will be my 4th World Championships I have attended.

Ryan Stinn, 120+ K Equipped

I began lifting in 2004 and did my first meet at Westerns 2005. By nationals 2006 I hadn't gotten my class1 total so I went as a bench only competitor, where I bombed. My next meet I got my class 1 and have competed at every nationals since, winning SHW class twice. In 2008 I represented Canada at Open Worlds in NFLD and placed 6th place while also squatting my first national record(370kg). In 2009 I competed in the Arnold Classic and increased my squat record to 380kg, however a month later at nationals I hurt my back squatting. While I've still lifting at every nationals since as well as worlds last year my back is still an ongoing problem. However, as usual I'm cautiously optimistic that I've finally got it fixed.

No Photo Peter McGill, 120+ kg M2, Equipped

Biography to follow