British Weight Lifting

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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.

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) gathers information to inform its prevention programmes. The national anti-doping organisation uses this information to form an in-depth knowledge into anti-doping activities. This information can come from a wide range of sources and is often collated via the confidential Report Doping in Sport service.

The telephone and online service is available to anyone who wishes to share information, however small, and is available 24/7. It is managed by fully-trained operators from the charity Crimestoppers. This means that callers are never required to give their name or any of their personal details, should they prefer not to.

The types of information gathered include details relating to the broader threats of supply and trafficking of prohibited substances, The Intelligence team therefore collate information relating to issues such as:

• the use or possession of prohibited substances by athletes or athlete support personnel, including coaches and medics
• sales of prohibited substances
• thefts of prohibited substances
• transport routes identified for imported prohibited substances
• distribution networks for prohibited substances
• information regarding an anti-doping rule violation.

Information received via Report Doping in Sport can assist in a number of ways. It may support a project that is ongoing; equally it may be new information that leads to the start of a fresh investigation.

The message is: ‘If in doubt, report it!”

Call 08000 32 23 32 or submit information via a secure online form (


There has been some fantastic progress through all departments at British Weight Lifting since the last newsletter and I’m pleased to say that BWL’s development programme continues to go from strength to strength.

Sport England’s most recent Active People Survey results show that the number of people participating in weight lifting in England continues to grow and BWL have well exceed the year 1 contracted targets across all funded programmes. You can find out more about the Active People Survey by visiting the Sport England website

Prior to the release of the Active People Survey we got a snapshot of club participation thanks to some great insight from the Sport and Recreation Alliance. Thanks to all BWL clubs who completed the survey which indicates that club participation in weightlifting is growing at a rate above most other sports and that the cost of both junior and senior participation in weightlifting is the lowest of all sports surveyed! The insight is a great testament to the fantastic work of our club coaches and volunteers and the brilliant service they provide to their members.

Workforce development underpins and drives all areas of development in sport and I’m pleased to say that BWL is now taking more applications for fully funded coach and officiating education places. These places are available to applicants who can demonstrate how they will use the education to support BWL in achieving its funded outcomes.

BWL’s infrastructure is also growing and I’m please to confirm that we have now secured the funding to implement two new regional development officers, one in Greater Manchester and one in Tower Hamlets and East London.

In Greater Manchester we’re pleased to be working in collaboration with Life Leisure, one of Manchester’s leading leisure providers. The collaboration will also see the relocation of Stockport Arnies, one of BWL’s only IPC Powerlifting specialist clubs to a new home in the Houldsworth Village Centre in Stockport where the club will receive enhanced support. The role will be responsible for developing an Olympic weightlifting offer in the Houldsworth Village Centre and other Life Leisure venues across Manchester. This is in addition to supporting the existing clubs in Greater Manchester.

In Tower Hamlets we are developing a different type of partnership in working with the Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation (THYSF). This will see a focus on the development of weightlifting in Tower Hamlets schools specifically and a focus on developing weightlifting clubs and participation opportunities in and around East London.

I must pass on a huge thanks to Dean Neville at Pro-Active East London and Craig Anthony at Greater Sport for their support and advice in forging these new partnerships which are a milestone in BWL’s strategic progression.

It was my pleasure to coordinate the first in a series of three London University weightlifting competitions at Blitz CrossFit, Twickenham. The competition was attended by many new and novice weightlifters from St Mary’s University, Middlesex University and University College London.

There were some fantastic lifts and a great atmosphere throughout the day which was in no small part as a result of the constructive refereeing of Lee Ottey, Tony Marshall and Ben Ross; thank you for your support and for promoting the development ethos of the series!

This series of competitions is a part of BWL’s strategic plan to become a BUCS accredited sport and to offer an informal introduction to weightlifting for London university students. A big thanks to Rich Kite who supported the planning and running of the event. The next two events will be led by Rich and will take place on February 1st and March 1st (both at Blitz Crossfit) in preparation for the British Student Championships towards the end of March.

This will be my last development update for BWL as I’ll be moving on to work with Volleyball England in the new year, it’s been both a great pleasure and a challenge working in this, ever growing sport and I’m happy to be leaving BWL on a high. I’m also very pleased to be handing over to Stuart Cummings, Stuart joins BWL from the RFL to take on the role of National Development and Education Manager. I know I can speak for Stuart in saying that he’s very keen to get out and meet partners clubs and volunteers in the new year and I’m sure you will welcome Stuart to the weightlifting community as you did me.

Thanks for a fantastic four and a half years and I look forward to being a keen observer and supporter of BWL’s progress in future!

For future development and education enquiries please contact Stuart Cummings - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Tel: 0113 224 9402

As I reflect on 2013 and my first 6 months in the role at BWL, it is with great pleasure I can report our sport is finishing the year in a positive manner.

Although the role remains extremely challenging and I am fully aware we have numerous issues across the sport to address which have an impact on operational progress, I am delighted to share some Festive spirit with some of the most recent positive news.

Following the onsite Governance audit undertaken by our funders at the end of the summer, we recently received the result which highlighted 22 recommendations for improvements and an amber /red rating. A red rating may well have seen withdrawal of funding, so we have been working phenomenally hard over the past few weeks to start to implement a number of these changes from Board level down. Our first requirement was to change our articles of association, which we did at the AGM but we have also needed to look at the make-up of the Board and you will notice shortly an advert going out for new Board members. We have three positions to fill so check it out on our web site to see if it appeals.

Earlier in the month, I had a really positive visit to Budapest to meet the IWF President Dr Tamas Ajan and his team. It was an excellent opportunity to share our vision and establish a new relationship with our ultimate governing body. What was exciting was how fondly Dr Ajan spoke of our long established Board member Mike Irani and Head Coach Tamas Feher. They are both held in extremely high esteem on the international stage and we should be grateful for their continued contributions.

On the performance side, this month saw the start of the new Elite Squads for men and women. The elite squads are for the top ranked male and female British lifters who have the potential to progress and represent Great Britain at major senior international events. Crucially, lifters are invited based on two sets of qualifying criteria - their current performance level but also their character and personality. Moving forward we are looking to identify lifters who are not only competitive or with potential but who are individually honest, committed, positive and respectful to the sport and those involved.

I must add my congratulations to Ali Jawad for smashing the World record and winning gold in Kuala Lumpa. Ali now sits as World number one which is a fantastic way to end the year. With Micky Yule and Natalie Blake also performing brilliantly much credit must go to Tom Whitaker and his coaching team.

Rebekah Tiler continues to shine – she is an outstanding emerging talent who recently won gold in both the European and Commonwealth Championship Junior sections. On top of which she reached the top 10 in the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Finally on the lifting side, Team England lifers performed well out in Penang, with a number of medals and personal bests and fingers crossed it looks like their preparation for Glasgow next year is well on target. Thanks to Mike Pearman and his team, and although it is not easy highlighting any of the lifters above each other as it was a great team effort, well done to Sonny Webster, Owen Boxall, Christos Michaelas and Ben Watson on their success.

Our Sport England development plan is performing ahead of schedule, with participation figures still continuing to rise and showing that BWL have comfortably exceeded year one targets set across their funded programmes. On top of this the recent Sport and Recreation Alliance survey showed club participation in weightlifting is growing at a rate above most other sports which was excellent news.

Coach education and workforce development continues to be central to all areas of development and we are already benefitting from new relationships developed at a variety of gymnasiums across the country. We have recently run successful pilot schemes with Fitness First where we have funded coach education of a number of personal instructors, who then demonstrate in their own environment the safest and most beneficial way to lift weights. Further opportunities are available for free education places by contacting the office.

I am also delighted to announce that on the back of the recent successful appointment of Jon Mason in the North East, we have secured funding to appoint two more individuals in Manchester and London. Both these posts will be filled by Easter next year, with adverts going out in the New Year and will play a major role in on-going growth.

Another new initiative recently launched was the first of three London University weightlifting competitions held at Blitz CrossFit in Twickenham. Aimed at new and novice weightlifters from St Mary’s University, Middlesex University and University College London, there was a great turn out and a number of outstanding lifts. This initiative is a part of BWL’s strategic plan to become a BUCS accredited sport and to offer an informal introduction to weightlifting for London University students. The next two events are planned for 1 February and 1 March and with continued support it should have a great future.

I would like at this stage to say a special thanks to Sam Jamieson, who is leaving her National Development role at the end of this month – Sam has been with BWL for over 4 years and her contribution is hugely appreciated. I wish her all the best in a new role with volleyball.

As Sam leaves I am delighted to welcome Stuart Cummings, who comes from the world of rugby league and brings a wealth of experience on both sport and education development. Stuart has all the right credentials and will be an extremely valuable member of the team who can help move the sport forward in a positive manner.

Importantly we are on schedule with the coach education revamp and as we enter 2014 I will keep you updated with further progress. One other new but important change is that we have brought Coach Licensing and Safeguarding back in-house so that we can look after all requirements in the most efficient and cost effective manner. For further details contact the office in Leeds.

Finally I would like to thank all our team who continue to work tirelessly to support our sport and to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a hugely successful New Year.

TEENAGED weightlifter Rebekah Tiler is one of ten athletes named in the nominations for the prestigious BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2013.

The 14-year-old from Denholme in West Yorkshire, who was crowned European Youth Champion in September, holds more than 200 British and English records at every age level up to senior and last month broke the European Under-15 records too.

Coached by Eddie Halstead, Rebekah has just returned from the Commonwealth Championships in Malaysia where she won the youth and junior titles as well as finishing fourth in the senior event.

Her nomination for the prestigious BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award is just reward for all her hard work and success, and comes at a great time for weightlifting which is seeing large growth on the back of the London 2012 Olympics.

Around 20,000 more people are lifting weights than 12 months ago (Sport England Active People Survey, April 2013), while according to a Sport and Recreation Alliance survey 45 per cent more adults have taken up the sport in the last year – a bigger increase than any sport surveyed.

“It is an unbelievable achievement for me to get this far in the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Awards,” said Tiler, who trains at Mytholmroyd WLC. “I am so proud of my family, my coach and other supporters because without their help I wouldn't have got this far.”

And Ashley Metcalfe, Chief Executive of British Weight Lifting, added: “Rebekah has had a fantastic year and really deserves her nomination. These awards are about rewarding success and highlighting those who have made an impact at the start of their careers. Hopefully it will provide Rebekah and her team the confidence, encouragement and focus to aim for further successes in the future as she progresses from the junior to senior ranks.

“It is an exciting time for our sport and Rebekah’s success highlights how weightlifting can be both a really enjoyable sport but also a beneficial one, helping people of all ages and sizes become stronger, fitter and healthier.”

As of the end of November 2013, Rebekah has broken 219 British Records at Under-23, Under-20, Under-18, Under-17, Under-16, Under-15, Under-15, Under-14 and England Senior level.

The Bingley Grammar School pupil also broke the European Under-15 Record at the Northern Open Championship on November 16, where she lifted 86kg in the snatch and 116kg in the clean and jerk, totalling an impressive 202kg.

That beat the totals she achieved in the European Youth Championships in Lithuania, where she won three gold medals.

Behind the scenes, British Weight Lifting has a growing team of dedicated staff helping to produce the next generation of weightlifters with development work and talent identification schemes seeing more and more people trying their hand at weightlifting.

British Weight Lifting CEO Ashley Metcalfe and Head Coach Tamas Feher paid a visit to the International Weightlifting Federation in Budapest this week, to discuss major weightlifting related issues regarding the future cooperation of the two organisations.

They informed the IWF about weightlifting’s legacy and situation after the successful London 2012 Olympic Games and the changes that are established by the newly appointed Management.

EUROPEAN youth champion Rebekah Tiler added Commonwealth Championship junior and youth medals to her 2013 haul in the event in Malaysia last week.

The 14-year-old from Denholme led the way for the ten-strong England team, while Bristol’s Sonny Webster clinched a silver medal in the junior event to add to a successful competition for the squad.

Despite debilitating heat throughout the tournament in Penang, there were many personal best performances.

Webster lifted 142kg in the snatch and 182kg in the clean and jerk, recording new PBs in the clean and jerk and total of 324kg. As well as his silver in the junior competition, he placed fifth in the senior category in the 94kg category.

Tiler lifted 80kg in the snatch and 105kg in the clean and jerk, winning both the youth and junior events and placing fourth in the seniors.

Londoner Owen Boxall was successful in all six lifts in the 94kg class, finishing with 142kg snatch and 178kg clean and jerk to end up sixth. His snatch, clean and jerk and total were all personal bests.

Manchester’s Christos Michaelas also recorded new personal bests in the clean and jerk and total. He lifted 108kg in the 62kg category, and 136kg in the clean and jerk, and only just missed out on a medal on bodyweight.

And there was also a PB in the 105kg class Didcot’s Ben Watson who finished sixth with an impressive 153kg snatch and 175kg clean and jerk.

Holyhead-based Hannah Powell, from Birmingham, finished fourth in the 48kg class, with a snatch of 62kg and a clean and jerk of 81kg. She narrowly missed out on a clean and jerk of 82kg which would’ve given her a medal.

Bristol’s Bradley Burrows finished fifth with a 140kg snatch and 160kg clean and jerk, and was unlucky to have a 147kg snatch attempt ruled out.

Manchester’s Shaun Clegg finished sixth in the 77kg class with a snatch of 125kg and clean and jerk of 160kg, while London’s Halil Zorba battled well to finish eighth in the 77kg class. He lifted 118kg in the snatch and 165kg in the clean and jerk.

And fellow Crystal Palace lifter Jo Calvino also finished eighth, in the 53kg class, with a 62kg snatch and 83kg clean and jerk.

“I was very pleased and proud of the way the team competed,” said England Team Manager Maggie Lynes. “They overcame considerable heat and jet lag to show the rest of the Commonwealth that England will mean business next year in Glasgow.

“I don't want to single out any one lifter but those who achieved lifetime bests are worthy of a special mention - Christos, Owen, Sonny and Ben. I must also thank the coaches for their tireless efforts.”

And Ashley Metcalfe, Chief Executive of British Weight Lifting, added: “It’s always great to see athletes winning medals and achieving personal bests, but the year before the Commonwealth Games is perhaps the best time for this to happen.”

THE England team fly out to the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships this week, with high hopes of a successful trip to Penang.

Ten athletes will represent England in the prestigious tournament (Nov 24-30), where they will face competition from many of the same rivals they will also be up against in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

The athletes selected for the Commonwealth Championships are:

Sonny Webster (94kg) Bristol
Shaun Clegg (77kg) Manchester
Ben Watson (105kg) Didcot
Brad Burrows (85kg) Bristol
Christos Michaelas (62kg) Manchester
Halil Zorba (77kg) London
Owen Boxall (94kg) London

Rebekah Tiler (69kg) Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire
Hannah Powell (48kg) Birmingham
Jo Calvino (53kg) London

“The Commonwealth Championships will provide an invaluable experience for our team, as the competition they face there will be similar to what they can expect at the Commonwealth Games next year,” said Team Manager Maggie Lynes.

“It will give them the opportunity to measure their performance against the best the Commonwealth currently has to offer. It will also enable them to start to gel as a team, as I expect those who are travelling to Penang to be at the forefront in the battle for places at next year’s Games.

“I believe that we have several good chances for medals, and I hope the stiff competition will encourage our athletes to step up and record new personal bests. I am looking forward to what should be a great competition!”

Derby’s Chris Freebury has withdrawn from the team due to having surgery on his appendix, while Leeds-based Jack Oliver won’t be competing due to concerns about a back injury.

London’s Emily Godley was selected but was unable to travel due to work commitments, while Zoe Smith’s on-going programme of rehabilitation on a back injury has ruled her out.

Ashley Metcalfe, Chief Executive of British Weight Lifting, added: “We have had several encouraging performances recently and this is another great opportunity for our lifters to gain invaluable experience on the International stage. With major European and World Championships as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, there is much to play for in 2014 and it will be great to see increased competition for places.”

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