Raw Unity Powerlifting Championships

Powerlifters Converging On Suncoast For Competition

By Eric Horchy | The Suncoast News


Published: January 24, 2008


NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Ready to get pumped up New Port Richey?

Some of the strongest men and women in professional powerlifting will converge on the Quality Inn and Suites, on U.S. 19, this weekend for the Raw Unity Powerlifting Championships to compete and show off their sheer physical might.

Any and all are encouraged to attend Saturday and Sunday afternoons, free of charge.
The founder and leading force behind Raw Unity, Eric Talmant, said this event is especially exciting for the sport because of its unique format.

Today, power lifting is comprised of a hodgepodge of sanctioned federations all over the country with no singular umbrella organization to watch over and regulate events.
Therefore, Talmant said, no one in the sport can hold true claim to being the best federation, or even the best individual competitor.

He plans to begin changing that this weekend with the Raw Unity Meet.

Roughly 30-50 athletes from federations all over the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast are registered to compete against one another.

"This has never been done before," Talmant said. "No one has tried what I've attempted to do."

"Now let's see who's the strongest out there."

To determine just that, athletes will be muscling their way through three official lifts – the squat, bench and dead lift.

Both male and female lifters – light, middle and heavyweight – will be on stage looking to take home the prize for being tops in their respective division.

Talmant said he hopes for Raw Unity to be a success and become a yearly event to further promote unity – hence the name – within power lifting and its federations.

If all goes well this weekend, the Spring Hill resident plans to keep the event in the area every year, unless it eventually requires a larger venue.

"It's in my area so I know I can have more control over what happens," Talmant said. "I want to have my hands on as much as I possibly can."

Mike Szudarek, of Michigan-based Marx Layne and Company, a marketing and public relations firm assisting Talmant's efforts, agreed that the event would initially remain in the New Port Richey area, but could easily move if need be.

"Yes, it could move away, geography is not so much the issue than the event itself," Szudarek said. "It's about getting all the multiple federations under one banner."

Talmant and Szudarek both remain confident Raw Unity will be a success. A power lifter himself, Talmant said his connections within the sport are one of the main factors behind this.

"People lack trust from outsiders trying to set up events (like this)," he said of other attempts by groups or companies to organize lifts. "I'm on the inside. People around the sport trust me."

The action is set to begin at 10 a.m. for both the Saturday and Sunday meets. Seating will be arranged on a first-come, first-serve basis.