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The British Weight Lifting Annual Achievement Awards aim to recognise the outstanding contributions and efforts from the weightlifting and para powerlifting community. With more athletes and volunteers now active than ever before, these awards are vital in recognising the contributions of our members and clubs.

Annual Achievement Awards 2022

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate and vote for British Weight Lifting’s (BWL) Annual Achievement Awards 2022. We were delighted with the number of nominations received.

The awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the most inspirational people within the weightlifting and para powerlifting community. From outstanding athletes proudly taking medals on the world stage, to the passionate clubs, coaches and volunteers, our awards are dedicated to those who deliver excellence in our sport.

Coach of the Year Award

Joe Cowen - Joe is an exceptional weightlifting coach who is dedicated to helping his clients reach their goals and create a welcoming community. He has created his own weightlifting gym and offers personalized programming and coaching to his clients. Joe is also compassionate and inclusive, making sure that everyone feels comfortable and safe in his gym, including those with neurodivergent disabilities. He has helped many lifters achieve their goals and has even inspired some to become coaches themselves.

Eleiko Club of the Year Award

Resilience Weightlifting is an exceptional weightlifting club that fosters a strong sense of community and inclusivity. The club's supportive head coach, Amy, takes a holistic approach to coaching and adapts training to meet the individual needs of each athlete. Resilience Weightlifting offers a range of sessions and programs for lifters of all ages and abilities, from beginner to elite. Members are encouraged to compete, and the club provides excellent support for athletes competing in local and national competitions. Resilience Weightlifting is making a positive impact in the South West and is passionate about growing the sport. The club's welcoming and supportive environment is helping to inspire new lifters and build a community of passionate weightlifters.

Inspiring Others Award

Benedict Millson - It's inspiring to hear about Benedict's achievements despite the challenges he faces with Erbs Palsy and mental health issues. His determination and resilience are a testament to his character and his dedication to the sport of weightlifting. It's remarkable that he has become a champion and a coach, and that he continues to push himself to new heights despite the obstacles he faces. His willingness to be open about his struggles with mental health is also incredibly admirable, as it helps to break down the stigma around these issues and encourages others to seek help and support. Benedict's story is a reminder that with hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude, we can overcome even the most daunting obstacles and achieve great things.

Louis Martin Lifetime Achievement Award

Micky Yule - After an incredible sporting career Micky Yule has made the decision to retire from Para powerlifting. Micky was discovered during Gold4Glasgow talent search ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and went on to compete at the highest level in his sport. Micky faced significant challenges but met them all with extraordinary determination. Finishing his career on a high his most recent achievements included a bronze medal in the men's 72 kg event at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan. He followed this with another bronze in the men's heavyweight category at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Mike Pearman - Mike has been involved in the weightlifting community for a long time and has been both a competitor and coach. As a coach, Mike has played an important role in helping to develop the skills and abilities of weightlifters at both national and club level. He has helped to identify talented athletes and worked with them to improve their technique, strength, and overall performance. In particular, Mike's support of women's weightlifting is significant. Historically, weightlifting has been seen as a male-dominated sport, and women have often faced obstacles when trying to participate. By supporting and coaching the women's national team, Mike has helped to break down some of these barriers and promote gender equality in the sport.

Technical Official of the Year Award

Holly Baker - Holly's commitment to volunteering at both the local and national level competitions is admirable, it demonstrates her willingness to give back to the weightlifting community and support others in achieving their goals.

S&F Flooring Masters Lifter of the Year Award

Trish Tenn - Trish is an inspiration not only for masters women but also masters athletes in general. Proof that age is just a number!

Brian Hamill Unsung Hero of the Year Award

Jo Calvino - As the Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting Competition Manager at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Jo played a vital role in ensuring that the event was a success. Her hard work and dedication to creating a fantastic experience for both the lifters and the spectators clearly paid off. Jo brought the sport to life and made the event so exciting for everyone involved. The impressive Eleiko kit, the commentators and the DJ all added to the atmosphere and made the weightlifting hall a thrilling place to be. It no doubt inspired a future generation of weightlifters and para powerlifters.

John Lear Outstanding Contribution Award

Ray Williams - Ray is a dedicated and passionate coach who not only focuses on helping his weightlifters succeed at competitions, including the Commonwealth Games, but also strives to promote physical fitness and wellness in his local community. By being willing to coach anyone who wants to improve, regardless of their initial skill level, Ray is helping to create a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their fitness goals. This approach can have a positive impact on individuals' physical and mental health, as well as foster a sense of community and camaraderie among participants. Ray's commitment to the sport of weightlifting is admirable and has had far-reaching benefits for both his local community and the sport of weightlifting as a whole.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Gemma Harvey - Gemma is an individual who goes above and beyond to make a difference in her community, especially in supporting the growth and development of young people in weightlifting. She goes the extra mile as a volunteer helping to coach children, organising competitions, sorting accommodation, fundraising and attending competitions. Another example of true hard work and dedication.

SBD Young Para Powerlifter of the Year

Matthew Harding - Matt Harding made it to the international podium in 2022 at the WPPO European Championships, where he secured a gold medal and a 5kg lead on competitors after a 179kg bench.

SBD Young Weightlifter of the Year Award

Myren Madden - Myren is a fantastic young athlete. After a tough year in 2021 Myren showed a fantastic attitude to come back into form. He put a massive effort into key areas of his development and showed a fantastic attitude he can be very proud of to turn 2022 into a great year. He remains one of the best young male prospects in England and Britain after winning English and British age group Championships representing GB at the European Junior Championships and recording multiple British record winning performances.

Sportscover Weightlifter of the Year Award

Sarah Davies - Sarah Davies made it to the international podium in 2022 at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, where she brought home a gold medal after totalling 229kg.

Sportscover Para Powerlifter of the Year

Zoe Newson - Zoe Newson had a fantastic 2022 making it to the international podium twice. First at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, where she secured a gold medal with a 101kg bench, the first ever para powerlifting gold for Team England at a Commonwealth Games and the only one Nigeria have never secured. Zoe then secured a second gold medal at the WPPO European Championships with a 100kg bench.


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