A group of five of the UK’s brightest young lifters looking for potential Commonwealth Games glory have been selected by BWL to attend an International Training camp at the United States Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs from 13th to 22nd March.
The talented U23 year olds include 19 year old 2012 Olympian Zoe Smith, 17 year old British record holder Mercy Brown and three outstanding young male lifters Shaun Clegg, Adam Matussi and Sonny Webster.
They will be accompanied by GB Head Coach Tamas Feher.
"Opportunities like this have been extremely rare in the past but we believe those selected fully deserve the recognition. We have selected five extremely talented young lifters, who have shown tremendous character and have enormous potential to represent GB internationally for several years to come. " explained the BWL Performance Director Tommy Yule.
He added: " It is a hugely important year for BWL with first the Commonwealth Games and then the World Championships and this is a great opportunity for a number of our best young lifters to train with athletes from the US in a truly world class environment. With a number of up and coming lifters in the US team there should be a really competitive atmosphere in the gym. We hope it will be both inspiring and motivational for our lifters and help ensure they are on top form as the year progresses.”
The camp, hosted by USA weightlifting, rests on a 35-acre complex located near downtown Colorado Springs and will see British lifters train alongside their counterparts at the country’s flagship training centre for the US Olympic athletes, including swimming, shooting, weightlifting, judo, gymnastics, fencing, wrestling and taekwondo.
After a thrilling two days of competition, it is Crystal Palace who can claim to be the top weight lifting team in England.
With several high quality performances, the club excelled in the event which saw an impressive 13 individual weightlifters from across England hit the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard.
Nine men and four women hit the crucial target at the two-day Championships, which attracted a record number of entries and more than 300 spectators each day to the Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre in Smethwick, West Midlands.
Leading the way for Crystal Palace were their women with outstanding victories for Jo Calvino in the 53kg class , Emily Godley in 63kg class and 17 year old Mercy Brown in 75+kg class. For Emily is it was even more special as she hit the qualifying standards for both Glasgow 2014 and the World Senior Championships later in the year. Mercy also broke British Senior records in the Clean and Jerk, lifting 116kg which helped her to a new record overall total of 201kg. Other notable performances came from Amber Sheppard and Poi Fakcha in the 58kg group.
Team victory was secured for Palace with a win for Mehmed Fikretov in the men’s 69kg class and a third and fourth place finish in the men’s 77kg class.
Bristol club, Empire Sports were the closest challengers, with a number of fine performance throughout the competition, including Bradley Burrowes well-earned victory in the men’s 85kg class.
Lauren English won the women’s 75kg class and Shaun Clegg picked up an impressive first prize in the men’s 77kg class to secure third place for Team Manchester.
“It has been such a fantastic weekend,” said British Weight Lifting Performance Director Tommy Yule. “Sport England has set us a tough target of four medals at Glasgow, but it’s great to see so many athletes – new and established – perform so well and achieve the qualifying mark early in the season.
And BWL Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe added: “ I would like to congratulate Crystal Palace on their overall team effort. There were a number of outstanding lifts over the two days but their female team in particular were outstanding. Much credit must go to Keith Morgan and all the coaches based there for supporting their team.
“The sport has progressed so much in recent months and it’s an exciting time to be involved in weightlifting, both at an elite level and at the grassroots. With record entries and a full house of spectators for two days it was a great way to showcase our sport and I would like to applaud the efforts of all the athletes.”
“I would also like to thank on behalf of BWL all the officials and volunteers, who gave up their time to ensure the competition ran smoothly and in a professional manner.”
TEAM RANKINGS - TOP 10
1 Crystal Palace 217
2 Empire Sports Club 196
3 Team Manchester 145
4 Stars for the Future 132
5 Crossfit Manchester 113
6 Bexley Europa 103
7 Bethnal Green 95
8 Sutton and Epsom 87
9 Brunel University 71
10 St Birinus 68
Other outstanding individual performances that achieved Commonwealth qualification included Zoe Smith, the Bristol-based Londoner who returned to action after almost a year out through injury with an impressive total of 206kg.
After a hugely competitive battle with Emily Godley, Sarah Davies also recorded a personal best performances in the 63kg bodyweight class, which qualified her for both the Commonwealth’s and the World Championship.
European Youth Champion Rebekah Tiler, from West Yorkshire, hit the qualifying mark with a total of 194kg in the 69kg bodyweight category.
It was also a tight contest in the men’s 62kg class with Jaswant Shergill eventually beating close rival Christos Michaelas into second with his very last lift. His total of 240kg was sufficient to take the title and also ensured both had achieved the qualifying standards.
Adam Mattiussi, who achieved a PB of 283kg came second in the 77kg category ensuring he surpassed the Games standard, as did Owen Boxall with a 325kg total and PB as he impressively won the 94kg class.
Three further men surpassed the qualifying standards. This included the first two in 105kg class. Ben Watson was in superb form and led the way, hitting three personal bests to total 335kg and ensure he finished ahead of runner up Peter Barnett. Finally, John Hanna won the 105kg+ category and surpassed the Glasgow standard.
AN IMPRESSIVE 13 weightlifters hit the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard at the English Championships in the West Midlands last weekend, as the sport continues to go from strength to strength.
Nine men and four women hit the crucial target at the two-day Championships, which was organised by British Weight Lifting and attracted a record number of entries and more than 300 spectators each day from across the country to the Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre in Smethwick.
With a maximum team size for Glasgow 2014 of eight men and seven women, there will be some tough selection choices to be made.
Among those to hit the qualifying mark were Delhi Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Zoe Smith, the Bristol-based Londoner who returned to action after almost a year out through injury with an impressive total of 206kg.
But several emerging talents also threw their names into the hat for Glasgow 2014 selection with impressive performances.
After a hugely competitive battle, Emily Godley, who also lifted for England at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, overcame the challenge from relative newcomer Sarah Davies. Both hit personal best performances in the 63kg bodyweight class, which also qualifies them both for the World Championship.
European Youth Champion Rebekah Tiler, 15 and from West Yorkshire, hit the qualifying mark with a total of 194kg in the 69kg bodyweight category.
And the men’s competition also produced some superb battles, none better than in the 94kg class where Owen Boxall was crowned English champion with an impressive personal best total of 325kg and forcing his rivals to try to match him.
It was also a tight contest in the 62kg class with Jaswant Shergill eventually beating close rival Christos Michaelas into second with his very last lift. His total of 240kg was sufficient to take the title and also ensured both had achieved the qualifying standards.
Shaun Clegg enhanced his reputation winning the 77kg category when he lifted a total of 287kg, to finish just ahead of Adam Mattiussi, who achieved a PB of 283kg – again ensuring both surpassed the Games standard.
The standard of lifting continued to be impressive throughout the two days, with Bradley Burrows winning the 85kg class with 295kg and three further men surpassing the qualifying standards. This included the top two in 105kg class. Ben Watson was in superb form and led the way, hitting three personal bests to total 335kg and ensure he finished ahead of runner up Peter Barnett.
Finally, John Hanna won the 105kg+ category and surpassed the Glasgow standard.
“It has been such an impressive weekend,” said British Weight Lifting Performance Director Tommy Yule. “Sport England has set us a tough target of four medals at Glasgow, but it’s great to see so many athletes – new and established – perform so well and achieve the qualifying mark early in the season.
“There were some great battles in the different classes – not least between Sarah Davies and Emily Godley in the 63kg class, where both not only hit the standard for Glasgow but also the World Championships with personal best performances.
“Another great clash was between Owen Boxall and Sonny Webster in the 94kg class, with Owen lifting a PB which on this occasion proved too much for his rival. We haven’t seen these sorts of battles in British competitions for a long time.
“It was also great to see Zoe Smith make a return to form after injury. She’s been out for a long time, but to hit six good lifts was really encouraging and she looked in good shape, determined and clearly enjoyed being on the platform again.
“To be in a situation where so many people have hit the qualifying standard pushes everybody forward and bodes well for the British Championships. I think we can look forward to having a really strong England team for the Games.”
And BWL Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe added: “The sport has progressed so much in recent months and it’s an exciting time to be involved in weightlifting, both at an elite level and at the grassroots.
“With record entries and a full house of spectators for two days it was a great way to showcase our sport and I would like to applaud the efforts of all the athletes.”
The last couple of weeks have been a real roller coaster for British Weight Lifting - it started well with a really positive annual review from Sport England. Although far from the finished product, importantly we are ahead of targets when it comes to growing and developing the sport at grass roots level and the introduction of a number of new projects over the next few weeks, including the Strength and Power series and Universities challenge will improve this position. We are also advertising for two new Regional Development Officers in Manchester and London – again hugely positive and beneficial to help grow the sport. Check out our website for more information.
We were then hit with the results of our annual review from UK Sport. Although extremely disappointing it was clearly a very difficult decision for UK Sport but I need to emphasise that we have not lost all our funding as outlined in some of the media.
I am delighted that our support for IPC Powerlifting remains untouched and that UK Sport have full confidence in the progress of this programme. Much credit must go to Tom Whitaker and his committed team of lifters and support staff for ensuring this is the case.
As regards weightlifting, it is disappointing but not surprising. Unfortunately our results as a sport did not instil sufficient confidence that we would achieve our targets for the next six years.
It is immensely frustrating as the philosophy and programme introduced by the new management team has already had a positive impact, but it has not had sufficient time to demonstrate its true value.
However, on a positive note the door is not firmly closed and we do have an opportunity to appeal and re-present our case for funding, which we will be doing as a priority in March.
Like all sports there is no given right to funding and it is geared around success. The reality is that we can make excuses galore but we only have ourselves to blame.
Moving forward we will aim to provide a vision and leadership that will offer financial stability for the organisation and genuine support for our lifters to help them in their quest for success on the highest stage.
The next stage of our development is going to be challenging but we need to remain positive, embrace change and move forward with a determination to work harder to achieve success.
Let’s enjoy the journey – it really is a time to unite and get behind the sport.
Finally I look forward to catching up with many of you over the next few weeks as our Championship programme gets well and truly underway.
Good luck to all.
THE IPC Powerlifting team at British Weight Lifting continued their strong progress with a string of top performances at the Hungarian Open Championships last month.
The team travelled to Hungary with optimism following the preparation that had taken place since the success at the Malaysian Open in November 2013.
Ali Jawad had added to his world record success in Kuala Lumpur and Michael Yule (pictured above) had attempted heavier weights as well at the Stoke Mandeville competition at the end of November 2013.
The outstanding performances of the week in Hungary revolved around Michael who reached a new personal best, hitting the highest threshold of the podium potential funding matrix for the first time.
This was a huge success as he has successfully weighed in lighter and lighter at competitions across 2013 and it was again the case in Hungary. This highlights his consistency and dedication to continual improvement and the effective support from BWL and the Sport Scotland Institute.
The other performances of note were from Pani Mamuneas and Natalie Blake.
Pani competed at his first international competition of his young career. He handled himself well and gave himself an opportunity to hit a new PB but unfortunately missed out as the bar became stationary before lockout finished. However he continues to show good progress ahead of the competition on the 15th in Folkstone.
Natalie was ever so close to lifting a PB since the Paralympics, putting herself in great a position to attempt 100kg. Natalie was unlucky as the referees ruled on an ever so slightly uneven lockout to deny the 55kg class athlete from breaking into three figures on the bar. Credit goes to the good work Natalie and her coach Keith Blake have put over the last six months.
It was a great competition and was run very well by the IPC and the Hungarian organising committee. It was great to see so many countries battling it out to secure qualification for the World Championships this April in Dubai.
Since coming into post on December 1st, I have been continuing the development of the sport and following on from the great work that Sam Jamieson has done, in not only developing the Whole Sport Plan for weightlifting but also delivering the first elements of it.
Sam had built up a great number of contacts and I have been getting to know some of the key personnel who we rely on to deliver weightlifting to a wider audience.
Some of our key partners are County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) who are tasked with increasing participation in all sports. BWL is currently working with 15 CSPs around the country and looking to engage with more to allow participants, both new and experienced, to access our sport.
We are currently awaiting the outcome of four Sportivate bids we have placed with Streetgames being our partners. The bids have been placed in the London Boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Hackney, Enfield and Tower Hamlets and will be based at existing Streetgames Doorstep clubs in these boroughs.
The bids will allow us to offer coach education to run a weightlifting club within their doorstep club, and also provide equipment for them to use. We will then try and guide those who are interested in taking it further, either to join some of our existing clubs in the area or set up a weightlifting club within their Doorstep club.
We have also just put a Sportivate bid through with TwoTon Crossfit in Taunton with the help of Somerset Active Sports Partnership. TwoTon Crossfit are looking to develop a Weightlifting Club as part of their Crossfit Club.
The Coach Education programme is currently being revised with a view to developing a suite of qualifications that are both current and accredited. BWL are working with Coachwise and 1st4Sport to develop the Level 1 Award in Coaching Olympic Weightlifting and the Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Olympic Weightlifting.
Once we have these courses in place we will look at developing a Level 3 qualification to enable the large number of Level 2 Coaches to develop their coaching further.
In addition to this we are also looking into the possibility of developing Certification in Instructing Weightlifting which will be popular with people who want to develop their all-round knowledge of general weightlifting.
Naturally, as with any new course development, we have to upskill our workforce and we will be looking to retrain and increase the number of tutors that we have to deliver our programme.
THE latest competition organised by the Stars for the Future WLC saw an impressive seven new British records set, as the club’s remarkable progress continued.
The club’s fifth competition attracted a total of 42 lifters, 35 being under 23 and seven being seniors from Crossfit Ivy and Sutton. And they were assisted by the presence of Steve Cannon, Brian Hamill and Phil Price as officials.
Returning to form after the operation which kept him out of the European Youth Championships, Louis Hampton broke the British Under-17 record twice in the snatch (88kg and 91kg), as well as the British Under-18 record (91kg).
And in the clean and jerk he set a new Under-17 record of 108kg, as well as five new records for the subsequent total (199kg). His new record could’ve been even better, but he narrowly missed out on a 110kg clean and jerk.
Nam Ahmadi broke his own British Under-18 record in the 62kg class, lifting 119kg in the clean and jerk to up the mark by 1kg.
In the Under-15 category, Se Gavin lifted 96kg in the clean and jerk, upping the British Under-15 record for the 85kg+ class by 1kg.
Photos and videos from the competition are on the club’s website – www.starsforthefuture.com – and also on their Facebook site.
Technical teaching methods - Part 2
The course of Clean & Jerk - Week 1-3
The primary goal is the gradual building up of the competition exercises. For this purpose specific and general strength-developing exercises are applied. Eventually, all these movement forms are conditioned at an initial level. The special strength-developing exercises are usually used as supplementary movements for the performance of the next movement task.
The exact loading that will be applied cannot be exactly determined - we should choose a suitable weight that will allow a young lifter to carry out the exercise with relatively small-intermediate effort and with the required repetition number.
As the weeks progress, the loading may be increased slowly and gradually. We should plan the weight increase carefully because too much weight may disturb the development and confirmation process of the correct movement pattern.
During the technical teaching process we apply simplified versions of some specific strength developing exercises, from which the dynamic acceleration phase (explosion) is temporarily missing. The application of these will lose their importance after the first two introductory weeks. These exercises are:
Power Clean without explosion
Clean High Pull without explosion
Clean explosion supplementary exercise series
The purpose of the first week is to introduce the basic technical elements. During this we should teach how to assume the exact starting position and then follows the execution of the pull phase first for the toe position of the Clean. (Clean Dead Pull, 5 reps). It’s essential to teach the proper pre-contraction of the trunk erector muscles as well as the proper breathing technique.
The next movement task is to carry out Clean High Pull (5 reps) without explosion. It is important to instruct the young athlete that during the pull phase he/she should be able to carry out the exercise with acceleration, which is similar to the required one.
The next step is the execution of Power Clean (5-3 reps) without explosion (its movement structure also includes the previously learned pull exercise and its rhythm).
The beginner lifter should jump into straddle position while properly bending his/her knees. The Power Clean series are usually completed by Military Press (1 rep at the beginning).
The final barbell exercises of the trainings are the alternatively executed Fronts Squat or Back Squats (5 reps).
The above described short structure, which is carried out within a single training session, demonstrates the construction logic of a given exercise. Nevertheless, it provides examples for the combination of the partial and global methods (“Technical teaching methods – Part 1” in our previous newsletter).
Such exercises that are used for partial tasks (Dead Pulls, High Pulls) eventually are merged into a complete movement within the relatively complex Power Clean exercise.
The exercises should be carried out preferably from the floor; occasionally however, we may include exercises that are carried out from blocks.
The structures of the daily trainings are similar to that of to the previous week. Nevertheless, qualitative and quantitative differences occur. Partly new movement forms are included: Push Press and Power Jerk).
The total daily number of exercises is increased due to the increased number of repetitions in some exercises but mainly due to the increased number of sets of almost every exercise.
Power Cleans (5 reps), after their final repetition are connected with Military Press or Push Press and on the last day with Power Jerk. The last two exercises should however, be practiced separately (5 reps). Front Squats (5 reps) and Back Squats (7-5 reps) are practiced in rotation at the end of each training sessions.
We should emphasise how important the adequate rhythm of these two exercises is. The repetition and practice of the exercises learned this far should be continued, meanwhile the applied intensity may be minimally increased. In fact this increase means that we choose the weights for practice to be somewhat below the required level.
From this week on the special supplementary exercises (e.g. jumps, throwing, etc.) become gradually part of the daily training programme (versatile physical education).
The next week (Week 3) will be an important milestone learning the explosion phase through applying a specific supplementary exercises series.
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Technical teaching methods - Part 3 will published in the next BWL newsletter
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Impact Fitness Zone has become the first British Weight Lifting affiliated club in Tees Valley.
The club, originally named Impact College of Martial Arts 10, became a registered charity three years ago and is now known as Impact Fitness Zone. The club is now home to not only kickboxing, but also weekly classes for MMA, Krav Maga, dance fitness classes and weightlifting.
The club boasts fantastic facilities including a strength and conditioning room. Mal Fitzgerald, strength and conditioning coach at Impact Fitness Zone, has shown a great interest in Olympic lifting as a means to increase performance of the athletes at Impact Fitness Zone.
He said: “Olympic lifts and their variants as a tool for power and rate of force development are second to none; I knew Olympic lifting as a sport has a very low profile locally and I was surprised to find that there were no clubs affiliated to BWL in the whole of Tees Valley, which has a population of over 660,000 people.”
The club are very proactive and are hoping to expand in the future, with a view to taking weightlifting into the surrounding schools. Hopefully being a BWL affiliated club will provide them with a unique selling point, and hopefully other clubs within the Tees Valley area will follow suit.