Jeff Butt – Builder
(Jeff was also inducted to the Hall of Fame as an Athlete in 2015. To read about that, go here.)
Jeff moved to Saskatchewan from Newfoundland in 1996. He had begun powerlifting in Newfoundland in December 1992, and brought that passion with him to Moose Jaw. He began working at the YMCA in Moose Jaw, and started to share his love of powerlifting with members there. Most notably, this is where he met current SPA President Ryan Fowler, who was in high school at the time. Jeff introduced him to powerlifting.
Upon arrival in Saskatchewan, he also began work on being an affiliate with the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU). The Saskatchewan Powerlifting Association (SPA) was part of the CPU in the past, but hadn’t been an affiliate for a number of years. During this time, Jeff started to coach Special Olympic athletes. At one point, there were 23 Special Olympic athletes training in Moose Jaw. At Nationals in 1997, the SPA became an associate member of the CPU becoming a full member the following year. At that time, Jeff was the acting President of the Saskatchewan Powerlifting Association. In 1998, Jeff lead the application for our first Nationals for Women, Junior, Master and Bench Canadian Nationals which was an overwhelming success.
In 2000, the SPA, with Jeff as president, asked the CPU to take a step in combining all events together and have an all inclusive Nationals. The application was accepted and the event, by far the largest National event ever at that point, with over 150 competitors. After this event, the SPA and its executive felt we were ready for even more and bid to host the IPF Master World Powerlifting Championships in 2001 in Moose Jaw. They received this event, and it was a huge success, receiving praise from the IPF for our organization and volunteers.
At the 2002 CPU AGM, Jeff was nominated for and won vote for position of the CPU President. He held this position until 2011. Jeff represented the CPU at the next 7 IPF Congress Meetings, bringing the issues of the CPU forward. Over those first few years of being President, the CPU applied for and was awarded Masters World Championships in 2003. Jeff became an International referee in 2004.
From this point forward, SK began to produce some of the best lifters in the Country and was widely recognized as a world leader in organizing events and developing world class athletes.
While in SK, Jeff was an athlete, coach, official and administrator at all levels of Competition. In 2008, Open Worlds were in St. John’s, NL, and Jeff was involved in this event as a part of the organizing committee as well as a lifter. Six of 18 athletes on the team were from Saskatchewan. These six would likely not have been involved in powerlifting if it weren’t for Jeff.
In 2009, one Saskatcewan athlete, Rhaea Fowler (Stinn), qualified for the World Games, and Jeff and Ryan Stinn traveled as Team Canada Coaches to this event in Taiwan. This was one of the premier events that Jeff was a part of. He felt that the fact that 3 of 4 Canadian powerlifters attending this event were from Saskatchewan was evidence of the success he had had in Saskatchewan.
In 2009, he moved back home to Newfoundland to be closer to his family, but still remains in contact with many SPA members today.
Jeff would like to thank the SPA and everyone along the way that was a part of his time in Saskatchewan.