Pontefract weightlifters achieve success in English Championships

Just six months after their formation the Body Design FIT Pontefract Weightlifting Club had seven competitors at the English Weightlifting Championships in Milton Keynes – a number only bettered by two established major city clubs.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Sunday, 10th November 2019, 1:44 am
Body Design FIT Pontefract Weightlifting Club members, who performed well at the English Weightlifting Championships at Milton Keynes.

To add to this achievement every member of the team finished in the top five with six winning medals and three becoming English champions.

The club also received special acknowledgment from the national body, the BWL, for fulfilling the loading of the weights in most categories with Danny McFarlane, Sarah Eccles, Alice Smales, Martyn Riley, Scott and Sam Towell. Newly qualified referee Sarah Green and international referee Martyn Riley also took up many officiating duties.

First lifters from the club to take part were World Masters qualifier Sarah Eccles and Northern England record holder Sam Towell who both competed in the women’s 40-44 age group.

They had only lifted in three and two matches previously, but in their first national event against experienced competitors they brought home silver medals with some excellent technical lifting, including their 46 and 40kg snatches respectively.

The next group was the women’s 35-39 age group and as well as competing and officiating in her first national championship Sarah Green won the English title in the W35, 49kg class with a 74kg total – only narrowly missing out on a bodyweight clean and jerk.

Her husband, Danny McFarlane, came even closer to a bodyweight clean and jerk and after loading six groups on Saturday came fifth in the M40, 81kg class in just his third match.

Scott Towell also lifted in the M40 age group in the 102kg class and smashed a 160kg total to claim the bronze medal.

He too went close to a bodyweight clean and jerk in his fourth match and all but two of the Body Design FIT team were in just their third or fourth match at any level to make their results all the more impressive.

The last two groups to run contained the 35-39-year-old men with two more experienced lifters taking part in former European Masters champion Martyn Riley and English Seniors champion Sean Glover.

Both claimed the English Masters titles for their weight categories and set English Masters records.

This success adds to the British Under 20s medals Brad Eccles and Millie Goldspink won in November, when Brad broke the British Under 20 clean and jerk record and Millie was added to the regional northern development squad.

The club has 26 nationally ranked lifters and its members have set eight British records, 11 English and 22 Northern England records in just six months.

Weightlifting classes run Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4.30- 7pm and Saturdays, 10am-noon with BWL qualified coaches and instructors. The club also offers various other varied training sessions, such as Bodyfit, High intensity, TRX, Boxfit and P90 that have fully qualified instructors that can cater for all varied exercise needs. Contact gym owner and manager Simon Longstaff by phone on 07976686135, by email at info@bodydesign121.com or on Facebook at Body Design F.I.T.