Young weightlifters show great potential

Coaches Allan Whitworth (left) and Martyn Riley are pictured with successful young lifters Beth Healey (back row) and front row (left to right) Olivia Richardson, Olivia Walker, Kobain Riley and Sydney Burnett.
Coaches Allan Whitworth (left) and Martyn Riley are pictured with successful young lifters Beth Healey (back row) and front row (left to right) Olivia Richardson, Olivia Walker, Kobain Riley and Sydney Burnett.

Young members of Featherstone Weightlifting Club achieved excellent results when they took part in a recent development match.

It was held at the club’s headquarters at the rear of Featherstone Library.

Six youngsters all achieved personal best performances. They will hopefully compete in the British Schools championships at Castleford’s Phoenix Theatre in February and June next year.

In the development stage. more emphasis is shown on technique and safe lifting styles.

Among the promising lifters were Jacob Richardson, aged nine, and his eight-year-old sister Olivia who attend Holy Family School, Pontefract, Sydney Burnett, aged 10, from De Lacy School, Pontefract, and Olivia Walker, aged 11, who travels from Doncaster to train at the club alongside her dad.

The lifters also included two-time British Schools Development champion Kobain Riley, aged 10, from English Martyrs School, Wakefield.

The development lifters and Kobain are trained by his dad Martyn Riley, a multiple time Yorkshire champion and British medallist.

Martyn said: “They all train very hard and maintain a great attitude and commitment in training and that is why they are achieving great results and lifting with much promise for the future.”

Development lifting can start from the age of seven and run until 13. Lifters are encouraged to achieve all their lifts and are awarded technique scores to encourage the development of safe lifting.

Jacob achieved a 75kg total, his sister Olivia 73kg and Sydney 53k in a lighter bodyweight class.

Kobain and Olivia Walker both totalled 88kg.

Beth Healy, aged 15, of Crofton High, also lifted in her debut match and showed great promise. She achieved an excellent total of 108k with a snatch of 43k and clean and jerk of 65k.

She is coached by club secretary and founder Allan Whitworth.

Beth will be training hard ahead of the British Youth Championships in June.

Thanks went to Martyn Riley, Allan Whitworth, Paul Foster, club members, parents and others who supported the successful development event and also to Wakefield Weightlifting Club for equipment.

Featherstone Club has also recently enjoyed international success with Mark Wager, Nick Hall and Andy Philips all winning European medals in the masters category where the lifters compete in five year age intervals after the age of 35.

Each of these lifters hold multiple titles and continue to bring international success to the club.

Anyone interested in having a go at weightlifting or anyone simply interested in training with free weights should contact Allan Whitworth at Featherstone Weightlifting Club on 01977-794176.

More details can also be found on the club’s Facebook page and the British Weightlifting internet website.