British Weight Lifting

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News

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:

Men
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

Women
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.”

BRITISH Weight Lifting is celebrating the news that there has been a 45 per cent increase in the number of adults taking part in the sport, according to the latest survey released this week by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Weightlifting clubs have seen the largest increase in adult participation of any sport in the survey, while the number of junior weightlifters is also growing impressively, with 32 per cent more youngsters taking part.

Added to the news from earlier this year, when Sport England’s Active People Survey showed a 23 per cent growth in the number of people lifting weights, it reinforces our message that weightlifting is great fun and good for you too!

"BWL is incredibly pleased to see a significant increase in the number of club senior and junior members highlighted in the Sport and Recreation Alliance Club Survey,” said British Weight Lifting Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe.

“A 45% increase in adult club participation, the largest increase of any sport, together with a 32% increase in junior club participation is great testament to both our current Sport England backed development programme and the fantastic service provided by our club coaches and volunteers.

“While the survey only reflects responses from a percentage of our affiliated clubs, the positive rise is in line with increases in memberships, competition attendances and school participation which have been increasing annually over the last four years.

“BWL would like to take this opportunity to thank the Sport and Recreation Alliance for this invaluable insight and of course our volunteer club leaders and coaches who continue to provide an excellent service to their ever-growing club members.”

The cost of being a member of a weightlifting club was one of the lowest of any sports, with the SRA survey showing an annual cost of just £86 for adults and £14 for juniors.

First of all I would like to congratulate our latest World record holder, Ali Jawad, on his fantastic performance in the recent Asian Open Championships in Malaysia.

Ali not only lifted over three times his own body weight in smashing the world record, but he also secured his first ever senior gold in Kuala Lumpur.

Naturally we are immensely proud of him, his coach Tom Whittaker and the rest of the IPC Powerlifting team who all performed admirably. There were great performances from Natalie Blake and more personal bests from Micky Yule, which just proves that with the right commitment and support, we have lifters who cannot just compete but do us proud on the World stage.

This month also saw three courageous performances in Wroclaw, Poland at the IWF World Senior Weightlifting Championships.

Natasha Perdue, 38 and from Swansea, recorded five good lifts from six attempts and finished with a total of 204kg in the 69kg class, the London 2012 Olympian snatching 94kg and lifting 110kg in the clean and jerk to finish 18th following a determined performance.

Jack Oliver totalled 313kg in the 85kg class which was slightly more than the 23-year-old lifted in the London 2012 Olympics last year and gave him 21st overall and Emily Godley, snatched 82kg and lifted 104kg in the clean and jerk for a 186kg total and 19th place.

It was another positive learning experience for the lifters and coaches alike and I am sure that being part of the whole atmosphere and the opportunity to mix with the World’s best will stand them in good stead as we look forward to next year’s Commonwealth Games and beyond.

On the home front we are very much at the start of a journey and the recent AGM gave us a first opportunity to outline some of reforms that need to be addressed.

At Board level we need to work hard to improve our Governance – our most recent audit undertaken by Sport England and UK Sport just two months ago and covering the last financial year - has identified over 20 key areas we need to improve. Most worryingly is that our rating for the period has slipped from green to red/amber at best.

I am pleased to report that the 2013 AGM was well attended. All items on the agenda were unanimously carried, including most importantly the introduction of new articles. This is really positive news as it gives your Board a remit to move forwards and introduce changes which will see the sport develop at all levels and aspire to become a high performing national governing body in the process.

The hallmarks of a high performing national governing body of sport and the bedrock of success are strong finances and a robust governance framework. During the last financial year, your directors delivered an improved financial performance, showing a small profit for the first time in several years. But our financial position remains fragile and some of the ways that the organisation has operated in the past are not sustainable.

Our reserves remain pitifully low and the task in hand is to restructure the business, beginning with the reform of governance arrangements that are an absolute essential in the eyes of funders.

But we also need to streamline the organisation at Operational level – I have already introduced a plan which will see the introduction of 4 new advisory boards reporting into the main board. These will replace the current number of committees which is around 23 in total – most of which do not even meet.

The 4 Advisory Boards will be:
Strategy and Finance
Technical Performance
Marketing and Commercial
Infrastructure and Clubs

Below that, at operational level we will re-structure concentrating on three key areas:

BUSINESS                           PERFORMANCE                          PARTICIPATION


And if we are going to continue to grow participation in the sport and become more competitive on the world stage, we need to establish our position as not just the leading provider of lifting-focused competitions, education and development opportunities, but we need to “own” anything to do with weight lifting and this is very much one of my long term goals.

I would ask everyone to get behind us – please enjoy the journey and let’s be part of a stronger more competitive sport in the future.

I would also love to see our sport back on TV and revamp our major National Championships, ensuring they become an enjoyable lifter and spectator experience. I believe if we are clever and think innovatively this can be achieved as can a new world class training facility, which would provide BWL with a home to be proud of.

Finally I am looking forward to meeting with many of you over the next few weeks and months and using your feedback to help address some of the many problems we have. Your insight is crucial for us to develop our strategies to grow and improve our sport.

Ashley Metcalfe
Chief Executive
British Weight Lifting

As a coach or parent, would you check that your athlete's medication is safe? Do you consider if the supplement they’re taking contains substances on the Prohibited List? Or maybe just keep a close eye on them during periods of vulnerability?

If the answer is yes to all three then you are playing a vital part in helping achieve a culture of clean sport in weightlifting.

Extensive research has shown the integral impact that coaches have in shaping the values, attitudes and beliefs of an athlete. The role of a coach extends beyond simply correcting technique, and into a range of other aspects that will affect their performance and career, including clean sport.

With nearly 50% of all anti-doping cases in the UK potentially being inadvertent, having a coach with a strong understanding of the anti-doping rules and specific risks to weightlifting could save an athlete from a lengthy ban.

Resources such as Coach Clean (http://www.ukad.org.uk/pages/coach-clean ) - an interactive e-Learning programme designed to give coaches an enhanced knowledge and understanding of anti-doping – are available to help support the goal of clean sport.

UKAD also challenges parents to take part in the advisor programme and become an expert – you can find out more at http://www.ukad.org.uk/parents/supporting-your-child/.

Protecting the reputation of weightlifting should be a goal of not just those competing but everyone connected to the sport. The resources are available, so make sure you are up-to-date with all the latest information, and play a key part in helping your athletes manage their anti-doping responsibilities.

THE last couple of months have seen some great developments at British Weight Lifting with the first of our Sport England funded coach education places being allocated to budding new coaches who will go on to create and influence new participation opportunities in weightlifting throughout England.

Some of the best examples of applications so far have revolved around staging club sessions for specific audiences (e.g. female only, over 50s) developing local competition opportunities (e.g. inter-school competitions) and providing support to the Strength and Power Series via entries and supporting talent identification and talent development opportunities.

This programme is delivered throughout the year so if you’re interested in taking part please click on the link here and read the information.

There have been some unavoidable delays in the re-launch of the Strength and Power Series as some new branding materials are being developed. We’re hoping to get the Strength and Power Series up and running in November for Colleges, Universities and the National open series. We’ll be using our online resources to promote the series so keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds to stay up to date with the Strength and Power Series and other general news.


* Club re-affiliation for 2014 is open now and we’re offering an early bird price for clubs who sign up before the end of November.

Both licensed and unlicensed clubs can affiliate by clicking on the link below and selecting the relevant option. Licensed clubs pay just £29 and unlicensed clubs pay £50 until November 30th when prices will increase to £35 and £60 per club. New clubs affiliating now will become affiliated to BWL for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014.

All affiliated clubs are eligible to take advantage of our 20% discount with Pullum Sports, if you would like to know more about this please contact me by email for a price list.

BWL Club Affiliations 2014

* Membership renewals for 2014 went live as of November 1st. All members will receive an email from British Weight Lifting with their login details and information on how to renew. There will be an early bird offer available until January 31st 2014 at which time all member subscriptions will increase in price as detailed below

Member Subscription

Early Bird Price (until Jan 31st 2014)

Standard Price (as of Feb 1st 2014)

Unattached Member

£40

£45

Continuing Life Member

£12

£17

Club Senior Member

£30

£35

Club Junior

£25

£30

Club School

£15

£20

Club Associate

£10

£15


For more information on club and member benefits please go to http://www.britishweightlifting.org/membership/member-benefits


I’m really pleased to report that Team Manchester Weightlifting club have successfully maintained their ClubMark status after completing the KKP 3-year review which is the standard process for all ClubMark clubs.

Thanks also to Greater Sport for supporting Team Manchester in acquiring and sustaining the accreditation.

It’s incredibly important that clubs providing opportunities for young people and vulnerable adults in particular have good infrastructures in place to support the development and good practice of the club.

We do of course encourage all clubs to follow this framework regardless of membership age or level of ability as a method of promoting and sustaining good practice. For more information on the ClubMark accreditation and what it entails, please click on the link http://www.clubmark.org.uk/

Further to my recent email to affiliated clubs, I’d like to again encourage any clubs who are looking for funding support for the development projects to take a look at the Sport England Small Grants fund.

The fund offers support from £300-£10,000 for projects which satisfy BWL and Sport England target areas. Support in submitting Small Grant applications is available from myself at BWL, your local CSP and also directly from Sport England in the form of their dedicated grants team.

A particularly handy tool is the pre-application check list, Sport England have suggested that around 80 per cent of applications that satisfy the check list then go on to be awarded so this is a great starting point to find out if you’re on the right track and eligible.


* Our recently appointed Regional Development Officer Jon Mason is making some great progress in the North East, having focused his first eight weeks of work on forging links with all of the existing regional clubs and support networks.

Jon is now in the process of linking clubs to the available financial and infrastructure support available as well as creating the foundations for a weightlifting academy at Gateshead College. Jon is also now in the process of assessing and accessing opportunities to develop new clubs and opportunities including those at Gateshead College who are part funding the RDO role.

Priority focuses for the North East are creating and enhancing opportunities to take part in weightlifting and IPC Powerlifting in clubs, universities and colleges in the region.

In addition to this Jon also has a keen focus on engaging with other sports to create weightlifting opportunities to support sports performance and development using the Sport England funded coach education to support this work.


* BWL’s development competitions are continuing to provide new weightlifters with their first competition experience via our CrossFit engagement events and soon our London University matches.

Big thanks to Reebok CrossFit Glevum who hosted our most recent development competition at their club in Gloucester.

After a huge buzz of nervous energy in the morning there was some fantastic weightlifting on display with the majority of competitors taking part in their very first competition! The weightlifting competition was followed by an incredibly tough WOD (workout of the day) comprising of 20 wall ball throws, 20 burpees and 20 kettlebell swings x3 in the fastest time possible. A huge effort by all competitors after a tough morning of weightlifting!

The next development competition will take place on November 9th as the first of three university competitions aimed and novice weightlifters. The event will take place at Blitz CrossFit in Twickenham and will be formatted to give new weightlifters their first taste of officiated competition. The competition will be refereed by officials trained via funding made available by Sport England, huge thanks to Rich Kite for his help and support organising the competition and support staff who I’m sure will make the event run very smoothly.

This programme of matches will be developed initially in the London area with longer term plans to generate opportunities for students nationally, the end goal being to build a foundation so that weightlifting is in a position to become a BUCS sanctioned sport.


* I was really pleased to meet with Street Games earlier this month to discuss the potential of developing weightlifting as a ‘Door Step Sport’ with support from Sport England and our coach education programme, and we are planning to implement weightlifting in selected London sites as of the new year.

This is a development that could see hundreds of young people gaining access to weightlifting opportunities which will then lead to more new young lifters joining weightlifting clubs and taking part in competitions around the country. I’ll be reporting back more on this as we progress.

Our County Sports Partnership (CSP) engagement continues to grow and progress with all 15 updates now complete and regional opportunities being passed on via the available networks.

The CSPs allow British Weight Lifting to reach a network of local and regional partners which would otherwise be difficult and time consuming to make contact with. The CSPs network is also invaluable in providing development opportunities for clubs and coaches and access to any local funding streams available. To find out which CSP covers your area please click here.


* BWL’s current target CSPs are: Northumberland SportTyne and Wear SportWest Yorkshire SportGreater SportBlack Country ConsortiumActive GloucestershireActive Surrey, Kent SportPro-Active West LondonPro-Active East LondonPro-Active South LondonPro-Active North London and Pro-Active Central London County Durham Sport and Tees Valley Sport click on the links here to be taken to the individual CSP websites.

I’m looking forward to reporting back next month on more exciting development activities, if you have any questions on development please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks again for your continued help and support.

Sam Jamieson
National Development Manager
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AFS Weightlifting Club is helping to get more people involved in the sport in the Hampshire area. Born out of CrossFit classes held at the Andover venue, AFS Weightlifting Club is this month’s Club in Focus!

AFS Weightlifting was born out of CrossFit classes. They used the clean and jerk and the snatch in many of their wods (workout of the day) and over time their members fell in love with them. They developed a passion for weightlifting and decided to pursue this as an addition to CrossFit Classes.

In 2010 they affiliated to British Weight Lifting after brothers David and Gareth Millings attended our level one coaching course. Since then David and now Darren have completed level two and eagerly await the release of level three. In 2011 AFS Weightlifting held their first British Weight Lifting/CrossFit Open competition, and received great feedback which led to more events in Reading and Manchester.

They are predominantly a CrossFit Gym running five classes a day, while the Weightlifting Club meets on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and now has nearly 20 regular members.

Their lifters are always eager to compete and they took three juniors to the UK Schools Championships in April this year. Livvie Payne and Grace Lawrence both came first in their weight category, while Alex Painting came a respectable second. The highlight of the day for them was to meet Zoe Smith but also to see the emergence of Rebekah Tiler. All three then attended a TASS day in Crystal Palace, but sadly just missed out.

AFS Weightlifting are working towards achieving Clubmark status and are getting ready to move into bigger premises. They are looking to encourage more young adults to try weightlifting and are working closely with the local schools to achieve this.

The club trains on Tuesdays and Thursdays 1900-2030 and Saturdays 0900-1030. Follow them on twitter @afscrossfit and Facebook – AFSCrossFit

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