A certified personal trainer and USA Para Powerlifting Coach, Caitlin Brown has a passion for helping people with physical disabilities build strength. Caitlin and her father opened Samaritan’s Walk 2010 when they had their first client with a spinal cord injury. Since then, Samaritan’s Walk has been dedicated to providing a space where those with physical disabilities can receive personal training.
In 2018, Samaritan’s Walk became a sanctioned USA Para Powerlifting Regional Hub so that athletes with disabilities from all over the U.S. could learn about the sport and compete at a gym specially designed for them.
“It’s amazing to see what everyone lives with, and if I can help them live better lives and achieve what they want to achieve then I’m happy,” Caitlin said.
Between working with Samaritan’s Walk clients who were powerlifting and attending a para powerlifting camp at Logan, Caitlin realized that she wanted to get involved. In 2017, she pursued becoming a certified USA Para Powerlifting Coach.
An athlete all her life, Caitlin started Olympic-style weightlifting at 15 years old. She won two state titles in her time as a competitor, but now focuses on helping her athletes get stronger.
“I want to become a better coach for the athletes, someone that they really believe in so they can reach their goals,” Caitlin said.
At the end of 2019, she officially became a Team USA coach, and in 2020 she was accepted into Cohort 7 of the National Team Coaches Learning and Education Program (NTCLEP). The NTCLEP is open to all national team coaches in Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan American sports. Coaches selected for the program attend seminars throughout their time in the program to help develop their skills as leaders in their sport.
“It doesn’t matter how much experience you have; you’re always learning to become a better coach for the athletes,” Caitlin said.
Over the next 20 months in the program, Caitlin will be working with other USA coaches from around the country to learn and grow as a para powerlifting coach. “For me, it’s about the coach-athlete relationship and helping athletes reach their goals. It’s more than just focusing on strength; I focus on how I can connect more to the athlete,” Caitlin said.