Young Sunderland weightlifters go from strength to strength at competition

A weightlifting club which only formed in April is celebrating after three youngsters who train there won gold medals at their first championships.

Sunday, 7th November 2021, 8:00 am

Weights & Cakes in Nile Street was founded by Zoe Chandler, alongside the 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.

Lifters are trained in the Olympic versions of the sport, which are snatch and clean and jerk.

At the British Weightlifting Lift-Off Competition championships in Mytholmroyd near Halifax, the club’s three gold medallists included Libby Warwick-Snow, 10, in the 12’s under 45kg category. Libby is also Zoe’s granddaughter.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Clockwise from left, Layton Lamont, 12, with coach Zoe Chandler, Libby Warwick-Snow 10 and Zach Taylor, 12, with GB weightlifting coach Save Sawyer.

The other two were Zach Taylor, 12, in the development category under 76kg and Layton Lamont, 12, who had to compete in the under-15’s category, 89kg and under. The medals were presented by Great Britain coach Dave Sawyer.

Zoe is also the club’s head coach and is delighted with the youngsters’ achievements.

She said: “I’m over the moon. Considering the boys have only been lifting for a very short time – and it was the first competition for the boys – they did remarkably well.

“I can see bigger things for them in the future. Layton could soon be training with the British Weightlifting development squad. We’re all still really high from the competition.”

Zach Taylor is presented with his gold medal by Great Britain coach Dave Sawyer.

Zoe, 49, competes herself and is hoping to be at the British Championships at the Derby Arena in January.

Weights & Cakes is a lifting club with a difference, concentrating on the weight of the barbell rather than the weight of the contestants.

It is so-called because after training members have a cake, coffee and a chat. It is open to all ages from eight upwards and has recently received funding from Sport England, enabling the club to make free sessions available to encourage more people to try the sport.

Weights & Cakes is fully inclusive. Zoe runs classes for transgender people, while fellow coach Karen Shek works with people from black, Asian and minority ethnic, children who struggle with the school system, people with autism and others.

Libby Warwick-Snow in action at the British Weightlifting Lift-Off Competition championships in Mytholmroyd where she won gold.

For more information visit the Weights & Cakes CIC Facebook page.

Read More

Read More
Doxford shipyard archway restored to its former glory

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today.

Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters.

Weightlifting gold medallist Layton Lamont with coach Zoe Chandler.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue telling Sunderland’s stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe – and click here to get a snapshot of the Echo’s news and sport to your inbox through our email newsletters.