The inaugural Featherstone under 17 Yorkshire Open proved a big success when staged by Featherstone Weightlifting Club last Saturday.
The all-day event was held at the Featherstone Library and Community centre and was attended by the Mayor of Featherstone Margaret Isherwood as well as other local councillors and British Olympic weightlifter Rebekah Tiler.
It is the first time such an event has been held in Featherstone and it is hoped its success will be a boost to youth Olympic lifting and also for sport in the community.
More than 60 lifters from all over the country took part and the event was well run by Featherstone Raptors manager Tracy Hall along with Featherstone Library manager and Raptors coach Sharon Tepper. The event was supported by the Featherstone Lions group plus Featherstone Town Council and Wakefield District Council.
There were many personal bests and outstanding lifts on the day and the overall award for the best club was gained by Featherstone Weightlifting club the Raptors, who added the top Yorkshire under 17 club title to the BWL top British under 17 club title they also currently possess.
Outstanding Raptors on the day, who all won medals in their categories were twins Oliver and Lily Tepper, Leah Saka Fajic, Olivia Walker, Kobain Riley, Jack Hawkins, Thomas Cooper-Mahon, Len Fajic, Alicia Ellam, Zac Slater, Leon Cockerham, Dawson Horton, Matthew Longfield and Blake Rowland. They all scored points and added to the overall club victory.
The Raptors were supported and guided brilliantly on the day by club head coach Nick Hall and fellow club coaches Michael Hall, Sharon Tepper and Si Walker.
The award for the best club was named the Allan Whitworth trophy in honour of the Featherstone WLC president who formed the club in 1958. Allan is also an international referee and did this all day alongside fellow international Referee and Raptor coach Martyn Riley.
Ed Halstead, British weightlifting competition director, and the European Masters board member Chris Baker also took turns doing the refereeing and announcing all day too.
“I’d like to give special thanks to Team GB Olympian Rebekah Tiler for spending the day demonstrating, meeting people, having her photo taken and presenting medals with the town mayor,” said Tracy Hall. This was her way of giving back to the sport and helping out Featherstone Weightlifting Club.
“Thanks too to loaders James and Thomas Smith, Allan Whitworth’s grandsons, for loading every group and also a big thank you to everyone who helped out on front doors and in the café, which helped to make the event run smoothly.
“The event was a great day for all involved and I am sure it will become a regular fixture.”