Women's Strength Coalition events offer the chance to express power and strength, while enacting change and advocating for issues that deserve exposure and discussion.
All WSC competitions take place in a supportive and fun community environment, and are inclusive and identity-affirming.
In early 2017, founder Shannon Kim Wagner wanted to combine her love of strength training with a strong desire to make a social impact. She envisioned a powerlifting fundraiser to support social justice related causes, and Lift for Planned Parenthood (LFPP) was the result.
Lift for Planned Parenthood, April 2017
LFPP was featured in the New York Times and raised over $14,000 for Planned Parenthood. “I wanted to take action for a while, but I felt helpless and I didn’t know how,” wrote one LFPP lifter, a first time competitor in the sport of powerlifting, “The concept of putting myself out there and doing what I love while supporting an important cause really resonated with me.” The event resonated with others as well, and registrations sold out in just six days. LFPP offered lifters and supporters a chance to participate in a strength competition, have fun, and make a difference.
"Absolutely incredible! The meet was well-run and efficient, the environment was incredibly supportive and super welcoming for first-time competitors. I loved every minute of it, and would 110% participate in another WSC event!" -Alexandra
The WSC team realized that strength competitions provided a perfect medium for community building while supporting important community causes. A fun, supportive, and inclusive environment encourages first-time competitors to participate and eliminates rules that exclude and discourage people from competing in sanctioned events.
Pull for Pride Nationwide, June 2017
WSC set out to plan a second event, this one bigger than the first. Pull for Pride kicked off in four cities in June 2017 and raised $30,000 for four nonprofits dedicated to providing mental health care, housing, basic needs, and supportive services for homeless youth and the LGBTQ community in their respective cities.
"The whole event was not just a great concept but a SOLID follow through. It felt so inclusive, and the whole room was buzzing with energy. Powerlifting meets can be so musclehead-y, but there were no judgements and plenty of high fives and rainbow flags - and, like, also some really heavy weight being pulled." -Katie
The deadlift is a simple lift that has special meaning in the context of the WSC mission: coming forward to face a challenge, and succeeding through the simple mechanism of one’s own strength. In true “Pride” fashion, PFP is completely inclusive of all people and strength/skill levels. Unlike traditional meets, Pull for Pride is non-gender specific (open to trans and cis, intersex, agender, non-binary, women, men), and prescribes no dress code or weight classes. If you want to lift, you get to lift.
Following these first events, WSC has grown a supportive network of passionate volunteers. We host events from the local to the national level, and are dedicated to making every event inclusive, identity-affirming, and fun while raising support and awareness for important community issues.
Please check our upcoming events page and follow WSC on social media to stay updated on future events!
Want to join the coalition? Check out what we have planned for the future.
Interested in hosting a fundraising event at your gym? Get in touch below.