Featherstone’s talented young lifters top of class

Medal winners Bradlee Bugg, Olivia Richardson, Olivia Walker, Sydney Burnett and Kobain Riley with kids club coaches Nick Hall, Si Walker and Martyn Riley.
Medal winners Bradlee Bugg, Olivia Richardson, Olivia Walker, Sydney Burnett and Kobain Riley with kids club coaches Nick Hall, Si Walker and Martyn Riley.

Featherstone Weightlifting Club boasts the north of England’s top young lifters - and that’s official.

Six of the club’s lifters won medals at the Northern England schools development tournament at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

With 13 winners from this year’s previous two regional development championships, the club now has 19 medallists for the year which is far more than any other club in the north of England.

All Featherstone’s lifters achieved personal bests on both the snatch, clean and jerk and combined totals in the development stage where more emphasis is shown on technique and safe lifting styles.

Jacob Richardson, aged ten, and his eight-year-old sister Olivia have been training for only a year but they have won three regional titles and the British School championships without losing a match.

Sydney Burnett, aged ten, has also won three regional titles and after gaining second place to the overall winner in her category at the British Schools, she showed great character to outscore her in the following championships.

Olivia Walker, also a three times regional champion, was unable to compete at the British Schools Championnships. However, she is a strong contender for next year’s championship.

Kobain Riley, aged 11, has been lifting for three years and is already a three times reigning British Schools and four times Northern England schools champion.

Debutant lifter Bradlee Bugg, 11, showed character and potential in abundance around so many successful clubmates to achieve a perfect six out of six lifts and personal best total in his first match.

Sixteen-year-old Beth Heatley recently gained a British Youth championship silver medal while at the other end of the scale, Nick Hall and Mark Wager added Scottish Masters open titles to their British titles, Nick getting the overall best male lifter award.

The development and youth lifters are coached by multiple British and Northern England champion Martyn Riley, European Masters silver medalist and British champion Nick Hall and parent/coach and masters prospect Si Walker.

Featherstone Weightlifting Club’s kids sessions are on Thursdays at the rear of Featherstone Library (6 to 7.30pm). Development lifting can start from the age of seven and run until 13.

The club has also experienced international success recently with Mark Wager, Nick Hall and Andy Philips all winning European medals in the masters category where the lifters compete in five year age intervals after the age of 35.

Each of these lifters hold multiple titles and continue to bring international success to the club.

The club is looking to organise a club pairs/team match where one adult club member and a youth/development lifter will be drawn from a hat and lift as a team in an outside exhibition match at the club on Saturday, August 20.

Anyone interested in having a go at weightlifting or simply interested in training with free weights should contact Allan Whitworth on 01977 794176, or for those interested in the development/ youth training, parents can contact Martyn Riley on 07979913890 to arrange a free introduction session.