You have to lift big to get in this club
A GROUP of young Ipswich athletes have discovered a love for lifting heavy weights.
Trained at the Ipswich Barbell Club in Raceview, Finn Lamond, Charlie Utz, Adelaide Utz, Breanna Gow, Makayla and Hayley Dingle travelled to Brisbane to compete at the Queensland Under 15 and Youth Championships.
Spurred on by head coach Jackson Solofa, the young Ipswich took their love of lifting all way to the podium.
"All of them bar one have qualified to represent Queensland at Nationals,” Solofa said.
"I didn't do much other than guide them in the right direction. I base my training around the idea that they are having fun.”
A late withdrawal from the competition, Adelaide cheered on her training partners as the five Ipswich athletes took on the best weightlifters from across the state.
Hayley Dingle finished fourth in the Under 15, with older sister Makayla taking out third place for the Youth category.
In the boys, Finn Lamond finished 15th overall with fourth-place in both Youth and Under 15s. In the Mens 77kg class, Charlie Utz lifted more than his own bodyweight to finish fourth for Youth.
"When you've lifted the same weight for a while it's a good experience when you lift something heavier,” Charlie said. "Knowing that you've gone further.
"I only got into weightlifting because I started CrossFit here and starting getting into it. I never knew I could do this.
"It was great to compete against athletes from all over the state.”
After three months training, Breanna Gow was a surprise winner in the women's competition.
Qualifying in the Under 15 category, Breanna was successful in all three of her snatch and clean and jerk attempts.
With an overall score of 93, the aspiring athlete took out first place in both Youth and Under 15 standings.
Having only recently transitioned across from CrossFit, the 14-year-old knew she wanted to compete in weightlifting.
"I've always liked weightlifting more than the cardio part of CrossFit,” she said. "I guess improving my technique was probably the biggest thing.
"The (weights) were heavier than I thought I would do. Because I'm 14 whatever I did qualified for both the Under 15 and Under 17.
"My scores came up on the board for the Under 15s but I didn't know about the other one.”
All five weightlifters are now back in training to prepare for the Australian Weightlifting Federation U15/Youth Championships to be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex on July 8.
Leading by example, Solofa travelled down to Tasmania to compete in the Australian Senior Weightlifting Championships on the weekend.
"I transitioned over from CrossFit to weightlifting myself,” he said. "When I'm not training I am training others.
"I'm a youth worker at a school so I enjoy working with kids. That's my passion.
"It helps having a good group of kids who want to learn and have fun while they are getting stronger.”
Confident the Ipswich contingent can match it with the best in the country, Solofa said his young charges would be hard at training over the coming months.
"Nothing changes,” he said. "We are pretty much just going to go through our program.
"We just want to build them up and get them a bit stronger over the next seven weeks.”
Finn Lamond (4th in Youth and under 15) 15th overall for men.
Charlie Utz (4th Youth) 11th overall for men.
Breanna Gow (first in Youth and under 15) 10th overall for women.
Makayla Dingle (3rd in Youth) 5th overall for women.
Hayley Dingle (7th in Youth and 4th in under 15) 26th overall for women.