A star of last year’s Commonwealth Games will open the North East’s first officially recognised Olympic weightlifiting gym on Wearside this weekend.
Washington Olympic Weightlifting Club, based in Wear Industrial Estate, Sedling Road, Lambton, is the first and only club in the region to be recognised by the national governing body, British Weightlifting.
I’m always keen to raise the profile of weightlifting and support clubs such as this one.Shaun Clegg
The official launch of the club will be held on Saturday, with England weightlifter Shaun Clegg set to put on a two-hour showcase.
Shaun, 22, who is the younger brother of SAFC’s head of strength and conditioning and former Manchester United footballer Michael Clegg, said: “I was delighted when I was contacted to be involved with opening the new Olympic weightlifting club in Washington. I’m always keen to raise the profile of weightlifting and support clubs such as this one.
“However with this new gym I hope to see some great talent arise from the North East and I’m ecstatic I get to help start this journey from the beginning.”
Shaun will also be running an Olympic workshop on the Sunday aimed at personal trainers and gym instructors from 11am to 4pm.
The venue includes equipment tailored for Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit exercises.
Gavin Cogdon who came up with the idea for creating the club said: “Creating this club has been a long time coming, I’m excited at the prospect of this club in Washington which will enable people to have the opportunity to attend a club without travelling. I would like to thank Tyne and Wear Sport and Sport England for being part of the process and enabling the dream to become a reality.”
Club development manager at Tyne and Wear Sport Jade Mackie said: “It’s great to see the club finally get to the launch date after months of hard work.
“Gavin is so passionate when it comes to weightlifting so it was extremely easy to co-ordinate the project.
“We managed to support him in many aspects including providing funding for coaches and supporting the committee to access Sport England Small Grants.
The gym will be open for public use from Saturday and Shaun will be demonstrating powerlifting moves from 1pm to 3pm, including back squats, snatch and the clean and jerk.
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