British Weight Lifting

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WEIGHTLIFTERS from across England are preparing for the English Championships this weekend, which for many will give them perhaps their best chance of hitting the qualifying standards required for 2014 Commonwealth Games selection.

Dreams of competing in Glasgow later this year could come down to six lifts in the English Championships this weekend, which are being organised by British Weight Lifting and held at the Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre in Smethwick, West Midlands.

A record entry of well over 100 athletes is down to compete at the two-day event which begins at 10am on Saturday, and with admission at just £3 a large crowd and good atmosphere are expected.

Many of the GB squad athletes will be in action at the weekend, including Olympian Zoe Smith who won bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, another Delhi 2010 competitor and reigning English Champion Emily Godley, European Youth Champion Rebekah Tiler and British Champion and former Miss England entrant Sarah Davies.

Among the men competing are British Champion and multiple national record holder Sonny Webster (pictured) and his GB squad mates Shaun Clegg, Ben Watson and Jack Oliver.

While several have already hit the qualifying marks in their respective categories, they need to do so in either the English Championships this weekend or the British Championships in May.

BWL Performance Director Tommy Yule said: “There is a maximum team size [eight men, seven women] so athletes don’t just have to hit the qualifying mark, they must prove that they are the number one in their category.

“We have a target from Sport England of achieving four medals at the Commonwealth Games, so we have to select a team which gives us the best chance of achieving that aim.

“I think we will get more than 15 people hitting the qualifying mark, so it’s important that athletes really cement their place and show us that they are a good medal chance.”

And BWL Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe added: “Now is the time for the athletes to step up and prove that they deserve to lift for England. The Commonwealth Games is a massive target for both British Weight Lifting and the athletes themselves.

“While they can still qualify at the British Championships in May, they will want to hit the qualifying mark and take the pressure off now, so that they can focus on their training for the Games in the Summer.

“We are very grateful to Sport England for the funding and assistance they give us, and we want to deliver on our targets and show everyone that weightlifting as a sport is on the up and can win medals in major championships.”

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.

Further details of how you can apply to be a tutor for BWL will appear on our website. Should you wish to find out any information in the meantime, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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 – – 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

Week 1

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.

Week 2

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

Looking to keep up-to-date with the latest and most relevant anti-doping news? UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the country’s national anti-doping organisation, provides regular content on Twitter and Facebook, designed for anyone with an interest in clean sport.

Whether you are an athlete, coach, support staff member, or just a fan of weightlifting, UKAD’s social media pages provide timely anti-doping information. With daily posts providing tips for the best ways to be and stay clean, the UKAD Facebook and Twitter pages are useful for competitors of all levels looking to enhance their knowledge about clean sport.

These channels also offer last minute reminders about updating ADAMS whereabouts, changes to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List, or advice on getting a head start with changes to the new World Anti-Doping Code, which comes into effect on 1 January 2015.

If you are not an athlete but have an interest in UKAD’s work, there is information relevant to you too! Find out what an athlete goes through at doping control or information on UKAD’s education work with a range of partners. Live updates are also available from the biggest anti-doping events and conferences taking place in the UK and around the world.

Remember, social media is all about engagement – so feel free to get in touch with UKAD through Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions about the world of anti-doping or just want to show your support for clean sport. UKAD uses the hashtag #CleanSport to promote a community of those proud to be clean!

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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.

British Weight Lifting’s Head Coach Tamas Feher helped fly the flag for GB when he attended the European Weightlifting Federation’s European Coaches Forum last month.

The two-day event was staged at the Centro di Preparazione Olimpica in Rome, where 38 delegates from 28 National Federations were in attendance.

Feher said: “The topic was ‘The Introduction of a European Coaching Passport’, and over the two days there was much communication, discussions and the sharing of coaching procedures from different National Federations.”

ENGLAND secured victory in the Tri Nations Tournament in Norway last weekend, returning home with a clutch of medals and personal best performances.

The annual tournaments pits some of the best weightlifters in England against their counterparts from Norway and Sweden, with athletes competing in senior, junior and youth categories and using the Sinclair points system to allow for different bodyweights.

Ryan Baugh, 16 and from the Ivybridge WLC in Devon, won gold in the youth male category with a snatch of 93kg and 120kg in the clean and jerk, while Bexley 16-year-old Liam Green won bronze in the same category with new PBs in the snatch (78kg) and clean and jerk (111kg).

Didcot-based 23-year-old Ben Watson won gold in the senior category, the 105kg+ athlete putting in six good lifts and finishing with an impressive 145kg in the snatch and 175kg in the clean and jerk. Also lifting in the senior category was Manchester 21-year-old Shaun Clegg, who ended fourth with 120kg and 145kg.

21-year-old Leeds athlete Sarah Davies won bronze in the senior women’s category with PBs of 82kg and 105kg, while 24-year-old Londoner Emily Godley was narrowly behind, the slightly heavier athlete lifting 84kg and 104kg.

There was also a PB for 17-year-old Londoner Joe Brooker in the junior section with a lift of 123kg, while his snatch of 92kg placed him fourth, and London 17-year-old Louis Hampton-Jones was fifth with 90kg and 105kg.

In a close competition England took victory by just 12 points after finishing on 2255, while Sweden were on 2243 and hosts Norway on 2184.

"It was great to see our English lifters competing so well," said BWL Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe. "With many of them pushing for selection for the England team in the Commonwealth Games, it was a great chance for them to show what they can do. They all represented their country with pride and showed great ability, character and desire to be successful.

"For the younger lifters, coming to the Tri Nations Tournament for the first time gave them a great chance to experience competing on the international stage and hopefully it will encourage them to improve and want to compete again at this level."

The England team's participation in the Tri Nations Tournament in Naustdal was supported by funding from Sport England's 2013-17 Talent Pathway, who were particularly keen to see development athletes competing alongside more established weightlifters.

Team England have now won the competition 6 times out of the 12 years and will host the 2015 event. Timings and venues will be announced shortly.

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