Gabriel Festing

The information provided is a brief history of his involvement with the BCPA and his dedication not only to the association, but to the membership and to the sport.

Gabe became involved with the BCPA in 1998 competing as a junior lifter. His dedication to his
training was demonstrated by his performance on the platform. He was methodical and focused
at every competition. However, despite his focus, he still showed compassion and kindness to
all the other competitors at the contest.
Gabe was introduced to the sport almost accidentally. Suffering from an injury, he took to the
gym to stay active and from there his potential was revealed. He was encouraged to enter into
a competition with minimal training and from that day forward has never looked back. This
sport, that he loves, has grown and flourished in BC. His vision for this sport has always been
to grow it and showcase the mental and physical strength of every lifter, as well as recognize
deserving individuals of the membership for their volunteer time. I believe that his time involved
with the BCPA is an integral part of why the BCPA is so successful.
In 1999, he was elected onto the Executive Board and became the youngest President in
BCPA’s history at the age of 22. During his time as President, he worked to help bring
awareness to the sport and provide support to the membership.
After recovering from his injuries, he returned to compete in 2012.
In 2013, he became a member of the BCPA Executive. From 2015 to 2019, he was the
President of the BCPA.
During his time on the executive board, Gabe wore many hats. His role on the board was
invaluable, regardless of what his elected position was. From creating the First Time Lifters
Guide, the Meet Directors Guide, and to running numerous successful competitions, he never
once swayed from his vision to make the sport of powerlifting a highlight in BC.
The creation of the many resources found on the BCPA website were meant to be an aid for all
individuals – whether they were a competitor, a coach, or a spectator. The finished work that he
has produced does not remotely show the hours and hours that he had spent behind the scenes
brainstorming, drafting, and finalizing the project. From building racks and shelves for the
equipment to designing medals and awards, all of his work was done with thought and care.

Recognition of volunteers is important to him. His work to create the Volunteer of the Year
award and the Christopher Robb award is an example of his thoughtfulness. Another example
of his caring nature is the creation of the Robert O. Smith award. Robert O. Smith was a
powerlifter that made an impact in Gabe’s life. As a result, Gabe wanted to honour his memory
by creating this award for Robert by presenting this to a deserving Bench Press athlete of the
The examples given above do not even touch the surface of all of the work and
accomplishments that Gabe has done while on the BCPA Board – the complete list is too long to
count. The one constant in all of his work is that it has always been for the membership and for
his love of the sport.
As a result of this, I believe that he would be a worthy recipient of the Craig English award.

Nominated by Bette Festing and awarded at 2022 BCPA Provincial Championships.