British Weight Lifting

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British Weight Lifting launches new participation initiative for para powerlifting in London

The scheme will run in partnership with London Sport and aims to develop and encourage new athletes to the sport in the London boroughs

British Weight Lifting, the national governing body (NGB) responsible for Olympic Weightlifting and Paralympic powerlifting, has today announced its plans for a new scheme aimed at increasing the number of para powerlifting athletes competing in the UK.

The campaign, which will start in September, will first be rolled out across London in partnership with London Sport, targeting key areas with higher populations of disability.

The initiative is part of British Weight Lifting’s wider objective to increase the number of athletes developing through its Performance Pathway, the NGB’s programme focused on delivering the sport’s leading athletes for both weightlifting and para powerlifting.

Athletes who meet the specification (outlined below) will be invited to join the first Para Powerlifting Participation Day taking place in London on Saturday 20th September. Attendees to the day will be given a detailed introduction to the sport, the chance to train under the guidance and supervision of British Weight Lifting coaches and receive a training programme and information on coaching clinics in the local area.

The Participation Day will also be attended by Paralympian, World Champion and current World Record Holder Ali Jawad, British Weight Lifting’s most successful para powerlifter.

Para Powerlifting Participation Day

Athlete specification

To attend the Para Powerlifting Participation Day you must be aged 14 years old or over, have a keen interest or regularly participate in physical activity, particularly sports that require strength and power.

Physical impairments that qualify athletes to compete in para powerlifting include but are not limited to; cerebral palsy, strokes or trauma, spinal injuries, polio, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida amputation(s), congenital deficiency, nerve damage and short stature.

Key information

Date:                     Saturday 20th September

Start time:           10:00

Venue:                 Oaklands School, Old Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6PR

Following the Para Powerlifting Participation Day, successful athletes will be invited to attend weekly coaching clinics across various locations in London run by Regional Development Officer Rich Kite, alongside British Weight lifting performance coach Ben Richens.

The ultimate opportunity will be then for the athletes to compete at the Para Powerlifting UK Open on Saturday 6th December.

Commenting on the initiative, Dan Wagner, British Weight Lifting’s talent pathway manager, said: “Para powerlifting is growing in popularity and our aim is to raise its awareness further, increase participation from men and women across the UK and ultimately, find Britain’s next generation of para powerlifting stars. We are targeting London initially and then we will run the scheme in other cities across the UK going into 2015.

“The Participation Day will not only give attendees the chance to try something new under the expert guidance of British Weight Lifting coaches, it will also encourage physical activity and gives us the opportunity to engage with talented individuals who may be suitable for our Performance Pathway.”

To register to attend the Para Powerlifting Participation Day please follow this link -

For more information email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

British Weight Lifting receives 1st4sport Recognised Centre status

We are excited to announce that 1st4sport Qualifications has awarded British Weight Lifting with Recognised Centre status and has fully endorsed our Level 1 Award in Coaching Weightlifting.

1st4sport is an awarding body recognised and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations, responsible for developing qualifications that are delivered against a strict benchmark to ensure learners are provided with quality assurance.

This means that our Level 1 Award in Coaching Weightlifting has met the standards outlined by 1st4sport and therefore anyone who enrols on the course will receive a nationwide-recognised qualification upon completion.

Our upcoming course schedule will be announced on our website soon but if you would like any more information, please contact the team at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on 0113 224 9402.

British Weight Lifting is the latest in a number of national governing bodies to work with 1st4sport to develop industry-recognised qualifications; these include the Football Association, British Cycling, Rugby Football Union and the Lawn Tennis Association.

Click here for more information about 1st4sport Qualifications.

National Paralympic Day set to make a splash as it returns for 2014


For the first time since the London 2012 Paralympic Games, international swimmers will once again compete in the iconic London Aquatics Centre. Tickets go on sale at 9am tomorrow (Friday) for this major sporting event, being held as part of National Paralympic Day featuring the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival, which returns to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday August 30.


Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, a day of celebrations is taking place across the country, including a free family festival in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, showcasing the very best in disability sports and arts from 12pm-6pm.  Exactly two years to the day since Great Britain won its first medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, sporting superstars, including 10 ParalympicsGB medallists from London 2012, will return to the water at the London Aquatics Centre for two thrilling sessions of racing.


Also set to excite spectators will be the stars of Boccia, Goalball and Wheelchair Basketball. Top athletes from these three Paralympic sports will be in action at the Copper Box Arena, the venue of last year’s event which saw 6,000 supporters cheer on the very best British and international athletes. Tickets for these events and for the swimming sessions go on sale today at and will cost just £5 per person. Tickets go on sale from 9am this Friday, 4 July.


Plenty of free, family friendly activities and entertainment will also be taking place across the Park, including the chance to try out different disability and inclusive sports such as wheelchair basketball, inclusive cycling, tennis and boccia. Representatives from community groups and disability sports project Motivate East will be on hand to provide advice about opportunities to take up sports or get involved in the local area. There will even be the chance to meet some of the stars of London 2012.


The Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival, the hugely popular annual showcase of Deaf and disabled artists will again be bringing an exciting line-up of street theatre, dance, live music, film, installations and children's activities.


Moxie Brawl, who will be evoking the spirit of the 1940s; Deaf Men Dancing, whose duet 'Nettle Dance', takes its inspiration from artists Gilbert and George; singer Ren Harvieu, acclaimed for her top five album 'Through the Night'; a special digital music making experience from Heart n Soul; and 'The Gift', an immersive sound installation from Jez Colborne and Mind the Gap.


Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: 'With Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park now transformed and fully open, National Paralympic Day will be even better than last year's successful event. Whether you are disabled or not, we're putting on a fantastic line-up of top flight sporting action as well as some brilliant arts and performance. It's going to be one of the best events this summer.'


Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Board Member of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: 'Thousands of families enjoyed a day of disability sport and culture at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2013 and we’re thrilled to be hosting an even bigger and better event this year. Events like this are vital to ensuring that the momentum from the London 2012 Paralympic Games continues to inspire disabled and non-disabled people to take up sport, try arts and make the most of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.'


Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, welcomed the return of National Paralympic Day.


He said: 'I’m delighted that we have been able to build on the fantastic success of last year’s event and include a range of sports on the competition programme at National Paralympic Day 2014.


'The day will have plenty for visitors to enjoy, but it is particularly fantastic to be returning to the London Aquatics Centre to enjoy the swimming and cheer on British athletes, much in the same way that we supported them during those incredible days of London 2012.


'National Paralympic Day is another opportunity for our fans to enjoy fantastic sport and to engage with our amazing athletes and we hope that the public will enjoy the day as much this year as they did in 2013.'


Presented by the Mayor of London, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the British Paralympic Association, National Paralympic Day featuring the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival is generously supported by the charity, Spirit of 2012 (Spirit) and Arts Council England.


Spirit was established by the Big Lottery Fund last year, with an endowment of £46m from the sale of the Olympic and Paralympic village. It is working to ensure the spirit that radiated from the London 2012 Games can be felt by everyone, everywhere. It is investing in happiness; supporting those providing opportunities in sports, the arts and volunteering.


Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit said: “The Paralympic movement has changed the way we view disability; it is absolutely key to Spirit’s vision that we boost this momentum. We are thrilled to support National Paralympic Day. It is an event that can capture the public’s imagination, promoting positive and engaging role models for young disabled athletes, and showcasing achievements that challenge limited perceptions of what it means to be disabled.”


Details on ticketing for the sessions of sport in the London Aquatics Centre and the Copper Box Arena can be found, and more information on regional events will be announced soon.

British Weight Lifting showcases youth talent at British Junior and Under 23 Championships 2014

More than 35 competitors headed to Wakefield College last weekend for the 2014 British Junior & Under 23 Weightlifting Championships, as Britain’s leading young weightlifters took to the platform in a day of hard-fought competition.

The junior category was made up of competitors aged between 13 and 20 years old and included 15 year old Rebekah Tiler, who stole the show with an outstanding display in the women’s 69kg class.

Tiler, who is the current British Senior Champion and an England Commonwealth Games 2014 medal prospect, put in a fantastic performance in what was her final competition before heading to Glasgow later this month, as she set British records in the snatch (94kg), clean & jerk (121kg) and total (215kg) across six age groups from under 15 – under 23.

The men’s junior competition also saw some top performances with Kilmarnock’s Stewart Gilroy clearing all six lifts and scoring a total of 145kg in the 56kg class, whilst Westway’s Adrian Ramirez came from 2kg behind club teammate James Kissling-Jones in the snatch lift to claim first place with a total of 165kg versus Kissling-Jones’ 163kg.

The toughest battle of the day took place in the men’s junior 85kg class, with all five athletes well-matched; it was the youngest competitor, 17 year old Fridi Ibrahimi, who eventually finished on top with 115kg (snatch), 148kg (clean and jerk) and a total of 263kg.

Another of British Weight Lifting’s Commonwealth Games’ hopefuls, Scotland’s Sophie Smyth, put in a solid performance and secured 62kg (snatch), 85g (clean and jerk) and a total of 147kg.

Commenting on the day, Ashley Metcalfe, British Weight Lifting’s CEO, said: “We’ve seen some fantastic performances from our young athletes today and the competition was a great showcase for our sport and its rising stars.

“There was a vibrant atmosphere throughout the day and spectator numbers were up considerably on last year, which was great to see. We’ve also had some very encouraging feedback from spectators who, in particular, cited the venue and event commentary as both making a positive contribution to the day which for us, as the event organisers, is fantastic to hear.”

British Weight Lifting would like to thank all of the volunteers and officials that were involved in the competition – thank you for your continued hard work and support!

Next up is the British Weight Lifting Development Cup on Saturday 12th July at Alfreton Grange Arts College, Derbyshire. Click here for more information.

GLL Sport Foundation announces £12,700 legacy funding for 13 Olympic weightlifters

Congratulations to the 13 weightlifters who have been selected to receive funding from a £12,700 award pot – thanks to charitable social enterprise GLL and its athlete support programme the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF), in partnership with British Weight Lifting’s World Class Performance programme.

The 13 London-based athletes, which include 2014 Commonwealth Games contenders Emily Godley, Zoe Smith and Mercy Brown, were announced last week at a star-studded event held at the landmark ArcelorMittal Orbit on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

The announcement was made by the Foundation’s Patron Sally Gunnel, who was joined by London 2012 Olympic medallist Tom Daley and a host of young stars and senior figures from across sport in the UK.

Jo Calvino, who will be competing for Team England in Glasgow later this month, was one of the award recipients. Commenting on the funding, Jo said: "The GLL Sport Foundation has been a large part of my support network for many years and I value this support along the latest phase towards the Commonwealth Game, where I look to achieve the best result I can."

The full list of award recipients is as follows:

Emily Godley

Halil Zorba

Joanne Calvino

Kian Panjavi

Liem Bui-Le

Mehmed Hayredinov Fikretov

Shila Panjavi

Zoe Smith

Amber Sheppard

Hamza Abiyo

Louis Hampton-Jones

Mercy Brown

Noorin Gulam

Poi Fakcha

The weightlifters are amongst more than 1500 talented young athletes from across the UK to have benefitted from a £1,000,000 award pot. The athletes supported by the Foundation represent more than 95 Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sports with 76% of all awards going to athletes aged under 21.

Sally Gunnell explained the core role the Foundation takes in supporting the next generation of athletes and ensuring our sporting legacy for years to come, “It is vitally important we take full advantage of the inspiration from the Games and harness all the talent our youth can offer, supporting them as much as we can to fulfil many sporting dreams.

“From starting out as a young athlete and progressing through my sport, I understand how support from the GLL Sport Foundation is invaluable to a rising star; I am delighted that through this scheme I am able to champion such support for sporting talent.”

Ashley Metcalfe, British Weight Lifting CEO, added: “We are delighted for our athletes who have been awarded the funding and we are very grateful to GLL and the GLL Sport Foundation for their continued support for our sport.

“We have a lot of very talented athletes within British Weight Lifting and the backing from organisations such as GLL helps to give them the opportunity to develop and reach their full potential; we know that this decision will make a positive difference to them all.”

Click here for more information on the GLL Sport Foundation.

UK Anti-Doping launches microsite for Glasgow 2014


UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the governing body responsible for implementing and managing anti-doping policy in the UK, has launched a new microsite aimed at providing essential information about anti-doping at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

UK Anti-Doping launches microsite for Glasgow 2014

The site, which can be visited at, is focused on assisting athletes, coaches and support personnel involved in Glasgow 2014 and provides key information and advice, including:


•    Information to help build and maintain athletes’ confidence in the anti-doping procedures

•    Knowledge of the pre and post-Games risks

•    How to submit whereabouts during the Games

•    The role of accredited athlete support personnel during testing

•    Details about the Report Doping in Sport service


So if you are involved in this summer’s Commonwealth Games, please take the time to review the site and ensure that you are fully briefed on UKAD’s procedures and guidelines.

British Weight Lifting hosts celebrations as Leeds welcomes Queen’s Baton Relay

IPC Powerlifting World Champion Ali Jawad was one of six baton bearers

The Queen’s Baton Relay arrived in Leeds on Thursday (12 June), as the excitement and anticipation continues to build in the lead up to this summer’s Commonwealth Games.


As part of the celebrations, British Weight Lifting and Commonwealth Games England para-sport powerlifting star Ali Jawad was one of six baton bearers, carrying the baton to John Charles Centre for Sport, where the British Weight Lifting team were hosting a day of workshops and training demonstrations for local school children.

British Weight Lifting welcomed over 100 children from seven local junior schools to the sports centre, where the day comprised lifting technique workshops, demos and ‘come and try’ sessions tailored specifically for young athletes.


Participants worked in pairs under the guidance and supervision of regional development officer Andreas Michaelas and talent pathway manager Dan Wagner, using child-friendly bars and discs to learn some of the lifting techniques used by the sport’s stars aiming for medals this summer.


Speaking at the event, British Weight Lifting CEO Ashley Metcalfe, said: “It was fantastic to be a part of the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrations and the day gave us the opportunity to engage with young athletes, for many of whom it was their first experience of weightlifting.


“We are very much focused on educating young people about the sport and making people aware of how accessible it is, so today’s event not only gave us the chance to do that but it also gave the children the opportunity to try out the sport for themselves, in a safe, controlled environment.”


The Queen’s Baton is travelling to 70 nations before arriving in Glasgow on 23 July for the Games’ opening ceremony.


The day concluded with evening celebrations at Leeds Civic Hall, which was attended by Commonwealth Games England weightlifting medal contender Rebekah Tiler and coach and British Weight Lifting competitions manager Eddie Halstead.


For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay, visit

BWL at ParalympicsGB Sports Fest

Last month British Weight Lifting enjoyed a fantastic day at ParalympicsGB Sports Fest in Manchester, a free multi-sport event that aims to give disabled people the opportunity to try out Paralympic sports.

Held at Manchester’s Sport City, the latest edition in the series of events run by the British Paralympic Association took place on Monday 19th May, when those who attended were given the opportunity to try out a host of Paralympic sports, find out more information about getting involved and even get the chance to meet with some of Team GB’s Paralympic medal winners.

The latest event follows on from three previous Sports Fests, held at Surrey Sports Park in December 2012, EIS Sheffield in April 2013 and the University of Worcester Arena last November.

As well as meeting Paralympic medallists, visitors had the opportunity to participate in a number of activities, including come-and-try sessions across a range of sports.

The powerlifting set-up included live bar path tracking, which helped demonstrate the importance of technique, with participants able to see a replay of their lift and learn how to improve.

“Sports Fest is a fantastic platform for BWL to showcase IPC Powerlifting, with the aim of increasing participation but to also ‘talent ID’ the next generation of Paralympians,” commented Dan Wagner, talent pathway manager.

“At BWL we have already experienced first-hand the benefits to the sport of being a part of Sports Fests; at a previous event in Sheffield last year, we identified a promising young athlete who showed significant progress over the course of this year; this athlete then went on to win a Junior silver medal at the World Championships in Dubai in April.”

For more information on Sports Fests, visit

Meet the new members of the BWL team

British Weight Lifting’s development and education manager Stuart Cummings introduces the four new members of staff to have recently joined the expanding team at BWL.

British Weight Lifting has appointed two new regional development officers (RDO’s), Rich Kite and Andreas Michaelas, to join Jon Mason on the development team.

All three RDOs are joint funded by Sport England and an external partner and each RDO has a remit to increase participation and help clubs to develop so that they improve the quality of their offer.

Rich Kite is the RDO for London. BWL’s partner for this role is Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Trust and Rich is based at Oaklands School, Bethnal Green, where he will be developing weightlifting in the school. Rich’s remit is London-wide and already he is making progress in the regions and raising the profile of the sport across the capital.

Andreas Michaelas is our RDO based in Manchester and he is employed in partnership with Life Leisure. As part of his role with Life Leisure, Andreas is helping to develop the new weightlifting area in its premises at Houldsworth Village, Reddish, Stockport.

Life Leisure is in the process of converting a five-a-side football pitch into a weightlifting area, which will also include a disability lifting area for Stockport Arnies Para Powerlifting Club, which will see the club fully integrated into Houldsworth Village. Andreas and his family have a long history in weightlifting and with his knowledge and his experience, we are already seeing improvements in a lot of key areas in his region. He is also educating a large number of the gym staff across all the Life Leisure centres so that Olympic weightlifting can be introduced across all of their clubs.

British Weight Lifting has also appointed Eddie Halstead as competitions manager. In his role Eddie will be looking at developing a whole sport competition structure that will encourage more people to participate. Eddie will also be taking charge of the appointments for technical officials at all BWL competitions, considering the structure and development of technical officials, including their education.

Eddie comes to BWL with a strong weightlifting background as a competitor, technical official and as a coach and we are certain that he will provide a fantastic contribution to the team.

Matthew Marshall has also joined BWL as events manager. Previously at the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), Matthew was responsible for developing a number of key events for the sport and comes to BWL with some exciting ideas around promoting weightlifting to participants of all ages. One of the areas Matthew will be involved in is BWL’s use of social media so if you’re not already following us on Twitter ( or ‘Liking’ us on Facebook (, you should be!

Women’s Elite Squad kicks off in Loughborough

Following the reinstatement of the UK Sport funding for British Weight Lifting’s Women’s elite programme, 20-22 May saw the start of the elite squads for women at Loughborough University.

The elite squads comprise of the top-ranked British lifters who have the potential to progress and represent Great Britain at major senior international events. Lifters are not only invited based on their current performance level but on their character and attitude, with all lifters required to show traits to include hard working, positive, focused, motivated, accountable, respectful and honest.

The main goal of the elite squads is to have a critical mass of the best lifters training together to create a motivating training environment. It is also an opportunity to explore factors limiting progress and to find ways to support the lifter and their coach. The squads are brought together for the benefit of the lifters and with their full engagement, BWL learns what works, what doesn’t and what else should be done to maximise the chances for our athletes to keep progressing.

The squad included Zoe Smith, Natasha Perdue, Emily Godley, Rebekah Tiler, Faye Pitman, Mercy Brown and Sarah Davies; all personal coaches are invited to attend each session and BWL welcomed Ed Halstead, Sam Dovey, Paul Furness and Rhodri Thomas to the camp.

Support on the squads will continue to develop and this session saw the continuation of the strength diagnostic project delivered by the English Institute of Sport.

Tommy Yule, BWL's Performance Director explains how this works: “the maximal strength capability in three key positions of the pull (start position, bar at knees and bar in the power position of second pull) was measured by an isometric pull, from which the maximal force generated was then recorded.

“The explosive strength and power capabilities were measured through a series of maximal effort jumps with different loads. Longitudinal data from these tests will be collected to shed light on how training actually changes fundamental strength qualities related to weightlifting performance.

“Essentially, the information is then used by the personal coaches to inform some of the decisions that are made around training, such as exercise selection and loadings.”

Alongside collecting information on strength, the lifters’ snatch and clean and jerk were captured on video and analysed with weightlifting software that provides details of the biomechanics of the lifts, including the force production at the three key positions, bar path and bar speed; this analysis is also looking to help influence the development of athletes coming through the Performance Pathway.

In addition to the strength diagnostics, technical analysis and physiotherapy, nutritional support was provided where lifters had to the opportunity to ask advice and have their body composition measured.

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