British Weight Lifting

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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.

British Weight Lifting has announced the winners of its 2013 Awards, with honours going to a range of people including top athletes and dedicated volunteers.

Leeds-based Jack Oliver, 23, has been named Weightlifting Athlete of the Year, following a string of consistent performances and personal bests, culminating in good performances at both the World Senior Championships and European Under-23 Championships, where he broke British Under-23 records for both the clean and jerk and total.

A World Record breaking performance at the Asian Open Championships in Malaysia was the highlight for another Leeds-based athlete Ali Jawad, who is named as our IPC Powerlifting Athlete of the Year.

Like Oliver, Jawad has shown remarkable progress, and is also a strong tip for success at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Yorkshire’s Rebekah Tiler is our Young Weightlifting Athlete of the Year. She is the current European Youth Champion following great performances in Lithuania earlier this year, and was one of ten nominees in the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

The Young IPC Powerlifting Athlete of the Year is Panagotis Mamuneas, who was identified as a great prospect at the British Paralympic Association SportsFest in Sheffield early in 2013.

He won the British Bench Press Championship in the 54kg class, and has made significant progress which has resulted in him qualifying for the World Championships in April.

Male Coach of the Year is Eddie Halstead, who has helped bring out the best in Rebekah Tiler at his Mytholmroyd base, while Female Coach of the Year is Michaela Breeze who has coached several young up and coming athletes including Ryan Baugh.

Team Manchester are named as Development Club of the Year. Under the guidance of Terry Surridge, they have made real progress in a number of areas and offer coaching to children as young as 11 right through to masters.

In 2013 they successfully maintain Club Mark status for a third consecutive year, and in 2014 they will be using BWL funding for coach education to develop weightlifting opportunities in local schools.

Technical Official of the Year is Chris Baker. A well-known and much respected figure, Chris has been one of our leading officials for several years and continues to volunteer his services throughout the country at all major national championships, as well as many regional competitions as well. Rarely does a week go by when Chris is not officiating in some capacity.

The 2013 Team Award goes to London club Stars for the Future, run by Kazem Panjavi. They boast 35 British age group champions, and have helped set up five weightlifting hubs in different boroughs of London.

Three of their athletes have been picked for the BWL National Development Programme, and another six are part of the London and South East Regional Development Squad.

After another fantastic year Peter Larsen is named as Volunteer of the Year. A stalwart of the South West region, Peter continues to put his name at the top of the list when BWL is searching for much-needed support. Although much of it is unglamorous, Peter never complains and is always there to help ensure the smooth running of competitions both nationally and locally.

Bradford-based Luke Jones has been named as Young Volunteer of the Year, having notched up the most hours of work at BWL Championships. Coached by Eddie Halstead at Mytholmroyd, Jones was closely followed by several other great young volunteers from clubs across the country.

The Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sport goes to London’s Mike Irani.

Wherever you go in the world, Mike has a phenomenal reputation throughout the sport. He is totally committed to the sport and works tirelessly behind the scenes representing his profession and BWL to the highest standards and his knowledge and expertise is without equal in weightlifting.

Mike’s contribution to various committees and Boards has been immense and he currently represents BWL on the International Weightlifting Federation’s executive board, whilst he has been on the IWF and EWF Medical Boards for over 20 years.

Ashley Metcalfe, British Weight Lifting’s Chief Executive, said: “These awards are about showcasing those people that have really made a difference to our sport in the last 12 months. We rely massively on volunteers and supporters to ensure our sport can go from strength to strength. They are often the unsung heroes of the sport and behind any successful performance are numerous people who have given their time and effort to help the lifter on their way.

“Many of these people often remain in the background. They are passionate and committed individuals whose voluntary support has not only helped drive our lifters but also encouraged many other people to become involved and to develop the sport.

“As an organisation we are always immensely proud and grateful of our voluntary support. It is absolutely essential and massively appreciated.”

World Class Programme update from Performance Director, Tommy Yule

This month saw the start of the new Elite Squads for men and women at Loughborough University.

The elite squads are for 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 skills (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. Secondly, it is an opportunity to explore factors limiting progress and to find ways to support the lifter and their coach.

The first squads are a start point and they will develop once there is evidence of how productive they are and there is a greater understanding of what is required to support performance. The squads are for the lifters and with their full engagement we will learn what works, what doesn’t and what else should be done to maximise the chances for them all to keep progressing.

The number of lifters in each of the squads is limited to 8. The first squads saw Natasha Perdue, Emily Godley, Rebekah Tiler, Faye Pitman, Mercy Brown train together on the 7th December and Sonny Webster, Shaun Clegg, Jack Oliver, Christos Michaelas, Adam Mattiussi & Cathal Byrd training on the 14th Dec.

The coaching on the squads is led by BWLs Head Coach, Tamas Feher. All personal coaches are invited and it was great to see Ed Halstead and Andy Michaelas in attendance on the female and male squads respectively.

Support on these squads will grow, but these squads saw the start of a strength diagnostic project delivered by the English Institute of Sport. 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. The maximal force generate was 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 change fundamental strength qualities related to weightlifting performance. Ultimately, the point is that the information is used by the personal coached 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.

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

UK Sport World Class Performance Conference (WCPC)

Tamas Feher and Tommy Yule attended the annual WCPC which took place at the Midland Hotel in Manchester last month.

The conference theme was about how to focus minds and efforts to continuously break new ground with a view to creating a stronger and more sustainable high performance systems. Presenters from business, entertainment, education and sport shared insights into their philosophies into maximizing progress and achieving success.

The common theme was that success is founded on creating a culture in which people are empowered to discover what they have to do to achieve what they want and have the motivation and energy to continuously find ways to work with others to improve.

The latest high performance training camp took place early in December, and once again Tedworth House hosted our lifters in their state of the art facilities set in the Wiltshire countryside. The relationship with Tedworth House and Battle Back who operate out of the Phoenix Ccentre on site is proving more and more effective for our training camp environment to evolve in.

This camp was a step up with more athletes and coaches in attendance, all working hard to make progress. The atmosphere in the gym was up a notch with coaches working fantastically one to one with athletes.

Throughout the camp bar path analysis (using Dartfish and Dartfish TV) and barbell kinetics (Using the GymAware Power Tool) were simultaneous assessed. This allowed added depth to what was being delivered to the athletes each session and provided great data and video footage for coaches to work with late in to the evenings.

The camp set-up facilitated recovery with the availability of hydrotherapy and sauna facilities. This added extra value to the camp as it help athletes train hard and sleep and eat well. A bag full of Christmas presents courtesy of Tedworth House rounded off a great squad.

The athletes in attendance included:

Ali Jawad – World Class Program Athlete (Coached by Tom Whittaker)
Michael Yule – World Class Program Athlete (Coached by Neil Crosbie)
Paul Efayena – World Class Program athlete (Coached by Ben Richens)
Natalie Blake - England Commonwealth Games Long list athlete (Coached by Keith Blake)
Pani Mamuneas – TID Development Athlete (Coached by James Whitfield)
Chris Rattenbury – England Commonwealth Games Long list athlete (Coached by Gideon Griffiths)
Hannah Toremar – Scotland Program athlete (Coached by Neil Crosbie)
Jim Wilson – Battle Back and Talent ID athlete (Coached by Jonpaul Nevin)

The staff supporting the weeks training were:

Tom Whittaker (BWL Performance Manager)
Jonpaul Nevin (Battle Back Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach)
Arun Singh (BWL Squad coach)
Ric Partridge (BWL Squad coach)
Ben Richens (BWL Squad coach)
Neil Crosbie (BWL Squad coach)
Dan Wagner (BWL Talent Pathway Manager)

COMP: Stoke Mandeville, 30-11-13

The first BWL IPC PL Comp went off with bang 3 weeks ago at Stoke Mandeville Stadium where we saw Ali Jawad unofficially break his own world record with a good lift of 188kg. This was an impressive achievement considering he only set the record 2 weeks earlier in Kuala Lumpur.

The other highlight of the day was evidence that the talent pathway is having a good effect on the development of Pani Mamuneas who was identified this April at a BPA Sports Fest. He has now made himself eligible for the Senior World Championships next April with 3 good lifts. Leaving him with a successful 115kg at the end of the days competition.

The overall aim of the GB Development Program is to help support talented lifters to realise their potential and to progress on the BWL Elite squads with a view of them ultimately winning medals at major youth, junior and senior international competitions.

Earlier this month we staged the fourth and final GB Development Camp of 2013 in Leeds. The squad included Mercy Brown, Poi Fakcha, Shonagh Woodburn-Hall, Sarah Davies, Adam Mattiussi, Ryan Baugh, Louis Hampton-Jones, Alex Collier, Joe Walton, Joe Brooker & Kristian McPhee who trained together to create a great environment in which they were supported in areas relating to their technical and physical development.

The coaching team of Sam Hayer, Giles Greenwood and Yousef Ziu provided technical feedback in each session supported by video analysis, which is then uploaded on the BWL Dartfish channel for athlete and personal coach to review post training camp. Over the weekend, the lifters undertook 3 weightlifting specific training sessions and 1 strength and conditioning session.

The camps have an educational focus to ensure lifters are equipped with the knowledge and tools that will enable them to realise their potential and progressively transition towards international class performance levels. This camp included a session on nutritional principles covering body composition, making weight and recovery.

The camps also provide an opportunity for objective data to be collected relating to weightlifting performance, including technique (e.g. bar path & velocity and force production) and body composition. Currently there are efforts to understand the best way for this information to be used so that is can be valuable for the lifter and their personal coach and can contributes positively to the future training program decisions that are made.

Regional Development Squads
London & SE Regional Squad – Bethnal Green – 8th December
Central & South West Squad – Oldbury Academy – 7th December

British Weight Lifting launched their partnership with Sport England that invests in creating an England Talent Pathway. The program is aligned with the World Class Programme (WCP) and is managed by BWL Talent Pathway Manager Dan Wagner. The aim is to provide young talented lifters a pathway that provides opportunities that support their ambitions of realizing their potential and ultimately achieving success on the international stage.

Part of this is the Regional Development Squad Programme that consists of training days being held across London & SE, Central & SW and the North regions from the beginning of September. These regional programmes will;

• Provide a clear pathway from youth level, through junior and into the elite world class performance programme.
• An opportunity and forum to echo the BWL Performance Programme philosophy, training environment and coaching.
• Provide regular interaction between different club members allowing for regular, top level training.
• Increase the quality and depth of talent at Youth and Junior levels in order to maximize the chances of athletes progressing on the development pathway with the ultimate aim of achieving international success
at European Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.

The final two Regional Development squads of 2013 were held in London & South East by newly appointed BWL Regional Development Coach and Commonwealth Gold medalist Giles Greenwood and the Central & South West Squad led by Lead BWL Development Coach Sam Hayer. The lifters undertook two training sessions over the course of the day that were focused around a training framework devised by BWL Head Coach Tamas Feher. The framework is general yearly plan that provides a structure for developing technical abilities across many relevant exercises and the Olympic lifts. It also outlines a loading pattern that is aligned with developing the appropriate physical abilities at a certain time of year.

At the London and South East Squad, Talent Pathway Manager Dan Wagner and Regional Coach Giles Greenwood, delivered a feedback session to the lifters using the Weightlifting analyser software; a monitoring tool used by the BWL Performance Program. The data from the software ensures that the feedback is objective. The feedback sessions helped the lifters develop a better understanding of their technical and physical development and how certain variables such as force, velocity, power and bar path influence the success of the lifts. Giles stated ‘I’ve noticed continual improvement in the focus and attitude of the lifters and coaches. We're all (lifters, coaches and team management) continuing to learn and develop as a team and I'm looking forward to this translating into improvements which show on the platform over the next few years!’

It has been encouraging to see in such a small period of time the regional squads developing. The success so far is a credit to the lifters enthusiasm, motivation and hard work and it is exciting to see further progress in 2014.

After the resignation of Lynn Amos who was our lead Safeguarding Officer we took the decision to bring Safeguarding in house. We felt this was the right thing to do. We would like to thank Lynn for all her hard work in achieving Advance Standard in Safeguarding for BWL. Which has given us a great platform to move forward.

In 2014 we are hoping to make significant changes which will help us support clubs ensuring they have all the correct safeguarding policies and procedures in place which are a requirement for good governance. Some of the things we are looking to develop are E-Learning course for safeguarding which should make it easier for members to attain a safeguarding qualification, we are also looking at being able to offer a first aid course.

All Safeguarding and Coach Licencing is now dealt with by Sue Ward please do not hesitate to contact her with any questions, queries or concerns you may have.

Two major methods can be distinguished in the technical teaching of beginner weightlifters: the global method and the partial method. The former means that the final movement task (i.e. the teaching of the snatch and the clean and jerk) is carried out by breaking down the complex movement into major elements. These are taught first and then they are forged together. Whereas the latter means that the competition exercises are taught directly in full, perhaps in a somewhat simplified form.

There are arguments for and against both methods of movement education. Both are used in the international coaching practice and the opinion of the professional people is traditionally divided concerning the two major methods. Some prefer the breaking up of the competition exercises and finally putting them together. Whereas others support the global method, which is the teaching of the complete snatch and clean and jerk in full.

Although both methods have been supported by positive examples, the appropriate solution seems to be - the synthesis - of the two major systems.

The essence of this method is that the executions of the snatch and clean and jerk are broken up to certain major elements, which are practised separately (partial method). Then (during the same training and not at the end of the education process), these elements are connected and the complete movement is carried out (global method). The complete competition exercise is built up from its major elements, which are used (as specific strength developing exercises) as part of the training program. Emphasis can be placed on the technical practice of the different, separated exercise elements, movement phases, and in addition, favourable movement stimuli can be provided for the specific conditional training as well.

Similarly to the professional debate about the major directions of the movement education, opinions differ concerning the teaching order or the possible simultaneous teaching of the competition exercises. It seems that starting with the teaching of the clean and jerk, makes the total education process somewhat easier and occasionally even faster. The clean and jerk and its specific supplementary strength developing exercises (e.g. power cleans, pulls, etc.) have somewhat simpler movement structures. Therefore, they can be executed easier for a beginner lifter, than the somewhat more complicated snatch and its specific supplementary exercises. The young lifter usually easily understands and then imitates the clean and jerk related exercises following which it can be developed to a certain level during the education process of the clean and jerk. This way he/ she learns the proper rhythm of the various phases of the exercise, of which basic characteristics do not differ from that of the snatch. Due to the above described transfer effect, the movements learned during the clean and jerk process (e.g. pre-contraction, first pull, explosion, rhythm of the arm pull, jump into straddle, etc.) will be easily adapted to the next “phase”, to the teaching process of the snatch.

For the technical teaching of the beginner athletes 2x6 weeks training work may be recommended, during which period three training sessions a week should be carried out (if the beginner lifter is older, four or maximum five training sessions a week may be done).

One can often hear opinions, which are professionally unfounded, that young athletes with good basic capabilities can be taught the technique of the weightlifting competition exercises during just a few training sessions by using the global method alone. Unarguably, a beginner athlete with outstanding coordination capabilities may be able to imitate, copy the technique of the competition exercises within a short time provided the loading is low. But the initial execution technique obtained such a way is however not safe. Furthermore, it is neither economical nor steady because the required autonomic skills are not developed yet. If the latter is lacking, however, the execution should be considered only a movement imitation of an external pattern that is under constant mental control, which may fall apart, and movement problems or basic mistakes may occur due to any disturbing condition (e.g. somewhat heavier weights).

For the development of a measurable level of the autonomic skills, 2x6 weeks basic technical teaching is insufficient. This process develops further during the technical training period and even after completion of this period. Only such lifters can be loaded with ever increasing intensity, who has obtained a relatively well conditioned, confirmed exercise technique. Such a lifter is able to carry out a given exercise using nearly identical movement structure (with similar spatial, dynamical, and time parameters) even if versatile loading is used.

Otherwise, the characteristic mistakes of the lifter will usually occur with increasing frequency. This way, the mistakes will be “conditioned” and the technical level already achieved may be damaged. It often occurs that a talented young lifter, who has been recently selected into the national team, has significant technical problems. Due to specialising too early, including high intensity workouts into the training program too soon, and competing too frequently too soon, etc… less and less opportunity will remain – above a certain performance level – for the correction of the conditioned mistakes of execution. The next following competition, the interests of the national team and club respectively, the exaggerated or even rational performance-oriented attitude of the lifter, etc., will usually not allow them to take a step backward and return to focus on more technical workouts. This way the imperfections of the execution will often be reinforced out of necessity. Such problems may accompany the lifter throughout his/ her entire carrier. Naturally, all these problems may be prevented to a great extent by a thorough technical teaching and training, by timely specialisation that is carried out with an appropriate space and with patient and gradual increase of the workload.

In the vast majority of cases, the 2x6 weeks period that is recommended for the technical teaching process, proves to be sufficient (assuming that the athletes have average capabilities and skills, they attend the trainings continuously and have sufficient motivation). Nevertheless, individual deviations from this pattern may occur.

Tamas Feher

Technical teaching methods, Part 2 will published in the next BWL newsletter

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Team Manchester is an established and successful Olympic weightlifting club that caters for lifters who compete or wish to compete in competitions. It has a wide age range from primary school children to seniors: male and female members and beginners to full internationals. It has evolved from Wright Robinson College (a large 11-16 comprehensive school) and continues to support weightlifting within the school and other schools in Greater Manchester.

Terry Surridge set up Wright Robinson’s school club in 1981 when appointed Deputy Head of the school. Eventually children from other schools began to train there together with former pupils so a club totally independent of the school was eventually established. This coincided with Wright Robinson moving into their new buildings which include a large sports village – with Team Manchester having their own club room – albeit on the 1st floor!

Throughout the year Team Manchester aims to support all Northern competitions (from U11 to Seniors) and aim to have lifters qualifying for British Championships – from schools to seniors; although in a very full calendar there is the occasional fixture clash!

Team Manchester enjoys team competitions and recently their A Team - Shaun Clegg (290 total at 76.1kg), Christos Michaelas (242 total at 62.9kg) and Alex Collier (245 total at 72.8kg) - proudly retained the prestigious Bergson Trophy with their B team (David Oakes (217 total at 67.6kg), Nilesh Morar (201 total at 73.2kg) and Hakeem Babalola (196 total at 64.8kg)) in second place. Next year the aim is to also enter “C” and “D” teams in order to involve more club lifters competing on the same platform as the top lifters.

Although the club is an Olympic Weightlifting Club, young sportsmen/women from a wide range of sports who wish to improve their explosive power are always welcome. Athletes from the sports of judo, athletics, rugby (both codes) and football have been regular trainers. The club also hosted Brazil’s Paralympic Powerlifting team for one week prior to the London Games.

Sustainability and growth are key aims of the club’s development plan. To that end the club encourages lifters to take coaching and referee awards. The Team Manchester/Wright Robinson partnership initiated the BWL Junior Referee award with Chris Freebury at the school in 2009. The club also regularly hosts BWL Level 1 and 2 Coach Courses. Both Christos Michaelas and David Oakes are level 2 coaches.

The club continues to have very strong links with Wright Robinson College. It works closely with the school’s PE Department on sections of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and for pupils offering Olympic Weightlifting as part of their GCSE exam.

Team Manchester is currently advising and supporting four schools wishing to introduce weightlifting as a curricular and extra-curricular activity. Staff have been attending coaching sessions at the club to become proficient in performing, teaching and coaching the two lifts and basic weight training exercises before attending the BWL Level 1 Assistant Coach Award course. All schools will continue a link with Team Manchester to provide a pathway for progression from beginner to World Class performer.

Finally, having gained the Clubmark award in 2010 Team Manchester recently received an excellent Clubmark Verification Report by Knight, Kavanagh and Page on behalf of Sport England.

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