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Bill Jamison is an integral part of the Canadian Powerlifting Union and its foundation. An early champion of the sport, Bill founded Steel City Powerlifting in 1969, Canada’s oldest powerlifting club. That same year, he competed for the first time at the CANUSA Games in Flint, Michigan. The following year the Ontario Powerlifting Association was created by Bill and the Gvoich brothers, Bill and Ned. In 1973, in collaboration with the Manitoba Powerlifting Association, the Canadian Powerlifting Union was officially formed. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec joined the CPU shortly after.


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With the CPU established , Bill travelled to Pennsylvania along with Ned Gvoich to represent Canada in the 1973 International Powerlifting Federation World Congress, where they helped set up a list of official IPF rules for all international powerlifting competitions, as well as ushered in the acceptance and recognition of the CPU by the IPF.

In addition to his role in founding both the OPA and CPU, Bill was instrumental in introducing a variety of communities to the sport, including Special Olympians, the seeing impaired, and the physically disabled. He’s trained inmates at minimum-security institutions, as well as established high school training programs in Ontario. Bill has also influenced the training of other athletes in a variety of sports, including hockey, football, and rowing. He trained Brain McGrattan of the Ottawa Senators; Gord Singleton, gold medalist in cycling at the 1984 Olympics; and powerlifter Don MacVicar, two-time gold medalist at the North American Championships, a silver medalist at both the World Cup and World Games in 1981, and bronze medalist at the World Championships in 1983.

Bill Jamison has not only introduced countless athletes - of all ages, genders, and abilities - to powerlifting, but is responsible for putting Canadian powerlifting on the map. With nearly fifty years dedicated to championing the sport, his passion and commitment extends to countless lifters, referees, and coaches. He is currently an International Category 1 Referee and a member of the IPF Hall of Fame.

Each year, the CPU presents the Bill Jamison Award to the member who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport of powerlifting. Our highest honour, this award is a means of recognizing the outstanding qualities of CPU members who follow Bill’s lead in advocating for the sport and community we all love. 

Sources: Click here

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