New Pontefract weightlifting club enjoys debut success

Medal winners: Pontefract Body Design Weightlifting Club members with their medals won at the North Series Championship.
Medal winners: Pontefract Body Design Weightlifting Club members with their medals won at the North Series Championship.

Newly Formed Body Design Weightlifting Club Pontefract exceeded all expectations in their debut competition when nine of their members took part in the British Weightlifting North Series Championship.

Jack Hawkins, a former British champion, just 13, and Connor Mckay, 16, in his first match both achieved personal best snatch, clean and jerks and combined totals with Jack 48kg snatch and Connor 67kg jerk in particular showing how well they lifted.

They are both not far off the British 15 and under and British 17 and under standard, which is outstanding as Connor has only been training a month and Jack is four months off still being in the under 12s.

Brad Eccles, 19, and Millie Goldspink, 17, both competed for the first time too with Brad finishing with a 100kg jerk and 172kg total to qualify for the British Juniors. He is only 8kg short of the English Senior standard already.

Millie totalled 109kg to qualify for the English Juniors and was just 4kg short of the British standard. She is only three months out of the under 17 youths so was approached by regional coach Jenny Tong and has potential to get on the Yorkshire Regional youth squad soon.

Alice Smales, 24, and Tom Hepptenstall, 24, both competed as seniors, (open age lifters though they are both just one year out of the under 23s). They also got personal bests on debut with the highlights being Tom snatching 65kg and Alice jerking 73kg with numbers that would of qualified for British under 23s last year.

With their training and dedication they could certainly be lifting at the English Seniors in November.

The Pontefract club had three lifters in the Masters age groups with Sarah Green, 36, getting personal best 32kg snatch and 40kg jerk to qualify for the English Masters in November in her first match. Scott Towell, 42, has only been training for a month and with a 86kg jerk narrowly missed out on lifting in the English Masters.

Also on debut, Sarah Eccles, 40, stole the show with six out of six lifts and a 106kg total that on debut qualified her for the English, British and European Masters championship and is just 1kg shy of the world standard already.

The club runs at Simon Longstaff’s Body Design FIT gym, in Pontefract, and he is supportive to help people achieve, putting a lot of time and effort into making the club the success it has been already. The weightlifting is coached by Martyn Riley, who is a former European and six time British champion with 24 years experience and is on the British weightlifting coaching team.

He is supported on the coaching by BWL Level two instructors Sarah Eccles and Alice Smales with the club planning to develop more coaches going forward.

The sessions run Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4.30pm-6pm as open gym training and 6pm-7pm planned session incorporating functional training led by qualified instructors Sarah, Alice and Tom Hepptenstall to develop all round strength and fitness.

There is also an open gym session on Saturdays, 10am-1pm and all first sessions are free so feel free to come try a session out and see where it goes from there.

For any further details, contact Si Longstaff, Donna Marie or Sarah Eccles through Body Design FIT on Facebook at bodydesign121, by email at or phone 01977 277370.