The IWF weightlifting personalities who travelled to New Caledonia for this special occasion were Mr. Ma Wenguang then General Secretary of the IWF and President of the Weightlifting Association of the People’s Republic of China, his personal secretary Ms. Wang Yan who was the Competition Manager for weightlifting at the Beijing Olympics. Mr. Sam Coffa, the then Vice President of the IWF, Mr. Nicu Vlad also Vice President of the IWF, the President of the European Weightlifting Federation, Dr. Antonio Urso, many times world champion Mr. Blagoi Blagoev, Mr. Matthew Curtain, London 2012 Weightlifting Competition Manager, and Ms. Reiko Chinen from Japan representing the 2016 Tokyo Bid.
Mr. Ma Wenguang, was extremely impressed and stated that the Institute is unique in its operation in the world of weightlifting, is a concept of great forward thinking, and is a model that other continents should try to emulate. In the same manner the European President, Dr. Antonio Urso, was equally impressed and he believes that a regional concept such as this will not only develop weightlifters in the region but also promote the sport of weightlifting in a professional manner.
The Institute facilities includes a main training hall with 18 platforms, a second training hall which includes 10 platforms plus general weight training equipment, changing facilities for men and women, weigh-in rooms, doping control room, offices, and reception area. The accommodation area includes twelve rooms with en-suite facilities catering for up to 24 athletes, a large dining room, television room, kitchen facilities, utilities room, meeting room and offices for the Oceania and Commonwealth headquarters.
Interestingly quite a number of countries outside of the Oceania region had expressed interest in training at the Institute in New Caledonia. Also it is interesting that the Institute Opening made the sports news of the Chinese Olympic Committee on their website.