GUWC at the 2023 Scottish Powerlifting Junior Championships

By Aaron Purba

Success for GUWC resulted in smashed PBs and prize money.

Anvil Gym in Paisley hosted the 2023 Scottish Powerlifting Junior Championships  on 16 and 17 September. The competition featured some of Scotland’s best up-and- coming powerlifters, with University of Glasgow students right in the mix. This year’s championship was another opportunity for Scotland’s young athletes to perform and they did not disappoint.

UofG students were up against a challenging roster of opponents but held their own when it came to the competitive element of things. The day started off with each athlete’s weigh in. This happens two hours before a lifter’s session and determines a lifter’s category. The Glasgow Guardian spoke to some UofG students and alumni about their difficulties in the lead up to the event.

UofG Human Biology graduate Lauren commented on her preparation for the weekend, ‘‘I was on an extremely strict diet and could not drink any water within 16 hours of the weigh-in. This morning I was so thirsty but all I could do was rinse some water around my mouth and spit it out. It genuinely feels like you are rough from a night out but nobody’s offering you any essential fluids.’’

Glasgow University Women’s Powerlifting Captain, Rona, also spoke about her role in the lead up and during the event: “In the weightlifting club we do a mixture of weightlifting and powerlifting. Today, we are at a powerlifting event that involves three predominant lifts which are the squat, bench press and deadlift.

‘‘My role at this event is handling one of our club members, Rebecca, so I am helping her prepare for her three lifts. She will have three attempts at each lift and by the third one, everyone will try to hit the highest number they can. As women’s captain, I help with the training sessions in The Stevenson Building every week and help out with the general running of the club.’’

It was a challenging day for the young athletes from UofG who were competing. Despite not taking home any silverware, Lauren spoke about her own record that she achieved: ‘‘I’m pleased with the squat, I got 112.5kg, which is a matched PR (personal record) for me, but I weighed in quite light today at 61kg.

‘‘Then we did bench as well, I went two for three, so I got 62.5kg but I failed the 65kg as it came in low on my chest, so I missed out on that but overall, I’m pretty happy.’’

Lauren, a fairly experienced powerlifter, also offered some advice to anyone who is not as experienced: “For people who are new to lifting, just be patient. I think that is the number one thing. There is no way around it; it takes time, so you must be patient and manage your expectations. It can be a bit off-putting when you go to the gym and you see lots of people lifting more than you, but they all started way at the bottom, and I was atrocious when I started.

‘‘It is just the way of it, but if you can push past that you will eventually start to see progress and when you start beating yourself it becomes addictive. So yes, my number one thing if you are new is to stick with it. Just go easy on yourself and stay patient.’’

Although the focus was primarily on individual performance, the camaraderie and

sportsmanship among the competitors was very respectable. Athletes cheered for their fellow opponents, offering words of encouragement and support which certainly created a positive and inclusive atmosphere, even in the incredibly intense moments.

Elsewhere in the men’s competition, there was massive success from GU’s Nic Ribeiro as he walked away with a £100 cash prize. Nic broke his very own National Junior Record and Open Deadlift Record that he set just earlier this year. He therefore ended the day as the winner of his weight class and taking home a significant cash prize.

If you are interested in getting involved in weightlifting at the University of Glasgow, you can follow their Instagram (@guweightlifting). All the information is on there about how to join, as well as the socials that occur throughout the year.

*The Glasgow Guardian recognises this as an individual choice made by this athlete, and does not endorse fasting as a necessary prerequisite to taking part in sporting competitions.


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