Weightlifting club brings glory to Sunderland with medal haul
A weightlifting club, which was only formed last year, has seen its younger members snatch another batch of medals in a competition against the best in the north of England.
Six young lifters aged between 10 and 13 each took a medal at the Barton Athletic Youth Competition held in Manchester.
The girls and boys represent the Weights & Cakes club, based in The King’s Road, in Southwick, which only began in April 2021, but is already enjoying great success.
Winners included New Silksworth Juniors pupil Jacob McDonald, 10, who won gold and a best lifter trophy in the under-10s class. James Newton, who attends Hill View Junior Academy and is also 10, achieved a silver medal.
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Leerye Newsome is only 12 and was in his first ever competition, but still managed to win gold in the under-15s 61kg class. It was a similar story for Raef Clegg-Cawood, 12, who won in the under-15s 55kg class.
Layton Lamont is a 13 year-old St Aidan’s pupil. He won gold in the under-15s under-96kg class. Scarlett Jackson-Māoudis from Willington in County Durham won gold in the under-15s 81kg+ class.
It was a long day for the team, with coach Zoe Chandler setting off from home at 4.30am to get the youngsters to Manchester for 8am.
Zoe said: “I’m really pleased with the kids. They did very well. They make a great team and they’ve been training really hard in the club, putting extra hours in, sticking to the programme – and they all performed on the day.
“The hard work has definitely paid off.”
Weights & Cakes was set up by Zoe as a Community Interest Company (CIC) to run classes, encouraging those who might not otherwise become involved in sport to strengthen their bodies and improve mental health.
It offers a different way of training to people who may not feel comfortable training in a mainstream gym environment.
The aim is to increase social inclusion, improve fitness, general well-being and self confidence.