Featherstone Weightlifting Club has big success at English Championships

Featherstone Weightlifting Club lifters who enjoyed success in the English Championships.
Featherstone Weightlifting Club lifters who enjoyed success in the English Championships.

Featherstone Weightlifting Club enjoyed arguably their greatest weekend when they took part in the English Championships at Stantbury Theatre, Milton Keynes.

The event saw open age senior champions crowned along with the inaugural English Masters Championships for people from 35 years plus and the first English Development open for under 13s lifters.

Featherstone WLC had success in all three competitions and the most entrants and medallists overall of any club.

In the seniors Ruta Lendraitiene was the club’s first qualifier since club coach Martyn Riley in 2012 and despite only being Olympic lifting four months and at 40 years of age being the oldest competitor this century she got personal bests with 71kg snatch and 95kg clean and jerk to easily top the ‘B’ group and set five new English W40 records.

In the English Development Open the club had seven entrants compared to the next biggest club turn out of two.

To add to this they also got many perfect snatch, clean and jerk scores awarded for technical safe lifting that impressed national coaches. Casey Swailes, Chloe Hutchinson, Lily Tepper, Kara Swailes, Blake Rowlands, Mackallan Whiteley and Oliver Tepper were all winners.

In the English Masters Featherstone had even more success, but Northern England champion Stefanie Carter picked up a back injury so was unable to challenge for the medals.

In the W45 Sharon Tepper, a current Northern England Masters champion and record holder, showed great character to claim a silver medal despite suffering from sciatica.

In the W50 current European Masters silver medallist and fourth ranked in the world Justine Davis not only won her class, but was the top lifter in her group including ladies 10 years younger with a 58kg snatch and a 68kg clean and jerk to set six new England Masters records.

In his last match before he focuses on coaching and officiating European gold and silver medallist and first diagnosed autistic lifter, referee, medallist and champion Martyn Riley added the English Masters title and seven English Masters records to his collection!

As well as the lifting international official Martyn Riley acted as chief official both days and was well supported by Sharon Tepper and Justin Davis, who worked on the operations desk to keep the event running, and club coach and ex-international lifter Bob Jackson, plus parents of the lifters Andy Whiteley and Elise Swailes.

Featherstone are looking for more success this weekend at Sheffield Hallam University in the BWL North Youth series event for 13-17 year olds.

Four-time British Schools champion Kobain Riley, Northern England and English schools champion Jack Hawkins and Northern England champion Wesley Riley will be representing the club.

The club thanked Featherstone and District Lions group and Featherstone and WMDC Council for their support and financial backing and the Lions Group, Screw Gym wear and Huggamug Cafe, North Featherstone for providing the lifters and coaches with their fantastic new kit.

Featherstone WLC Raptors under 17s train Mondays and Wednesdays 5-6pm for beginners and more advanced lifters Wednesdays and Fridays, 5-6pm. It costs £1 a week with first session free with BWL level two qualified coaches Martyn Riley, Sharon Tepper, Justine Davis and Stefanie Carter along with Bob Jackson BWL level two official with over 30 years coaching experience.

If your under 17 would like to join, contact Sharon Tepper, Raptors manager, on Sharontepper@icloud.com or she is available on Facebook messenger.

The adults train Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, 6-8.30pm at £3 a week with the taster session free. Anyone interested can contact club secretary Tom Smith at featherstoneweightliftingclub@gmail.com or Sharon at above address.