British Weight Lifting

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Raise the Bar

RAISE the Bar Olympic Weightlifting Club was set up in 2010 by Head Coach Vika De Giorgi, a coach, competitor, and passionate weightlifting enthusiast who actively promotes the sport in schools around the Tyne and Wear area.


Vika also works as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach and has previously worked with Northumbria University, British Rowing, the English Institute of Sport (EIS) and the Newcastle United Foundation.


BWL is very proud that Vika is one of the first in a new cohort of coach educators recruited and selected with the help of Coach Wise. Vika will be running Olympic Weightlifting Coaching courses across the north east of England in the coming months


Raise the Bar (RTB) RTB caters for members of all ages who are interested in learning and developing Olympic weightlifting techniques. RTB currently has both male and female members ranging from 9 to 70 years old!


Vika and her assistant volunteer coaches Tony Grant and Catherine Watson work hard to deliver age group specific sessions throughout the week. Vika also extends her work to Newcastle University and their student weightlifting club, and RTB are looking forward to seeing some of these students in action at the BWL Student Championships in March.


RTB would like to thank Newcastle City Council for their continual support and in particular the staff at Elswick Pool where RTB is based. RTB is incredibly grateful for the generous donations it has received from parents and supporters of the club and all supporters using the Easyfundraising online donations (  RTB has also benefited from loaned equipment made available through BWL’s Northern regional committee.


RTB have been well represented at BWL events since the opening of the club with a variety of members taking part in all different levels of competition.  Most notably the Northern Schools and u18/u23s in Ashington 2011 with 7 competitors, certainly a busy day for the coaches!


RTB plan to take part in several BWL events in 2012. In addition to this Head Coach Vika is incredibly pleased to be working with Newcastle City Council delivering their School Games Weightlifting Competition with the support of Northern Weightlifting.  This will see over 3,000 school children take part in 24 sports with weightlifting being included for the first time in a competition of this scale.


The club take a very athlete-centred approach and focus on developing existing participants in the areas, whether it is training for recreation, health or performance.  As a result of RTB’s work in schools there is undoubtedly a talent ID element and Vika has a very keen eye for a potential champion!


RTB are incredibly proud of one of our younger members who was selected to take part in a talent ID event delivered by the BWL performance team at the BWL High Performance Centre in Leeds.


At Raise The Bar our moto is to raise the bar on self-development and discipline as these are both key components of being a successful weightlifter whatever your goal.