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British Weight Lifting was delighted to have received Approved Sport status from the Armed Forces on 21 May 2021. The announcement was a huge step forward for the sport of weightlifting. Approved Sport recognises weightlifting within the Armed Forces, allowing members to compete as an Armed Forces team and be eligible for selection as part of British Weight Lifting’s Talent ID programme.

Weightlifting has many benefits beyond just being a sport. Fitness, wellbeing and mental agility are all qualities that the Armed Forces strive to maintain. The increase of strength, attentiveness, dedication and teamwork promotes desirable traits that could be of asset to any service.

Personal development within sport can also produce directly transferable skills as each person increases their capacity and education. Weightlifting is highly inclusive, promotes individual effort alongside team building and is fully supportive of all abilities regardless of gender as the sport naturally promotes leaders to place equal emphasis on athlete development.


The MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. The scheme provides financial support in each of a maximum of three separate financial years for higher level learning of a nationally recognised qualification at level three or above or, if pursued overseas, an approved international equivalent qualification with an approved learning provider.

ELCAS funding can currently be used on British Weight Lifting coaching courses. Delivery of these courses are run directly by British Weight Lifting and not outsourced to any satellite education centres.

British Weight Lifting’s ELCAS provider profile is available to view here. Please note we appear under our official company name of the British Weightlifters Association and not all of our ELCAS approved courses are currently listed on their website.

Extended L3 Coaching Weight Lifting Diploma (Online)

Course fee: £1,400

RQF/SQA level: 25

Duration: 15 days

Qualification: Focus Awards Level 3 Diploma in Coaching Weight Lifting (Extended) (RQF)

Guided learning hours: 453

More information on other British Weight Lifting courses are available to view here.

If you are interested in using ELCAS credits on British Weight Lifting courses and want to find out more please get in touch with our team directly -

More Information on the process is available on the ELCAS website. Here are two key aspects worth highlighting.

  • You must complete an online claim and submit to your education staff a minimum of 25 working days prior to your course start date.
  • On receipt of your Claim Authorisation Note (CAN), you must present it to British Weight Lifting before the course is due to start.


BWL offer discounted memberships and licenses for armed forces personal.


  • For Members of British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Airforce
  • £25 per year for a full lifter membership

Club Membership

  • Any member can set up a club on base (can be multi service)
  • £5 per club per year

Coach Licences

  • £20 for 2 years

BWL Armed Forces Membership also entitles those serving to the same benefits as our lifters membership offers which includes the following:

  1. BWL individual member insurance cover
  2. Access to BWL's comprehensive competition programme
  3. Up to 15% discount off four spectator tickets at National events run by BWL (online purchases only)
  4. Access to the BARS system to manage your individual profile, membership and event entries
  5. Insured to enter Tier 3 competitions 
  6. Discounts on BWL courses including Coaching Olympic Weightlifting, Technical Official Courses and Coaching Strength Training 
  7. Discounts off official BWL merchandise/clothing - go to the online Shop
  8. Discounts with selected BWL partners including:
     - 25% discount with Eleiko (please contact BWL for details)
     - 25% discount with Pulseroll
     - 10%  discount with Sport and Fitness Flooring
  9. Newsletters and updates


For more information on how to become a BWL Member click below

Become a Member Here

Find out more about weightlifting for each of the services in the armed forces below.




The British Army weightlifting team has been active for a number of years, during this time weightlifting was not recognised as an official sport within the Army. The hard work of the coaches and staff over the years has set the conditions for the Army Sports Control Board to recently grant weightlifting officially Army Sports status.  

This has enabled positive change for The British Army weightlifting team for 2022 and beyond - whereby athletes and coaches will have a clear pathway for development from point of interest to the platform in National competitions and in time International events.

British Army weightlifting is grateful for the continued support from BWL, without this and the commitment and passion for weightlifting by the staff and athletes involved, weightlifting would not be in a position to push boundaries and set the standard for Army Sports participation.


Coaching co-ordinator for courses – Chris Williams

Performance Manager/Head Coach - Garry Jackson

Army weightlifting general enquiries – Colin Russel

Social Media:





The Royal Air Force weightlifting club began as a small, eager group at RAF Brize Norton. Within 2 years this small team had pushed the awareness of the sport throughout the service and developed a dedicated committee and a large, grassroots athlete database. Liaising with the British Army and Royal Navy to conduct joint events and competitions alongside each arm presenting the benefits to the services sports boards, has led to the sport being awarded recognised status.

The RAF is proud to have athletes that compete in single service, inter service and civilian competitions and some athletes have set qualification for National and British events as personal goals for the very near future.


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The Royal Navy, like the other services, has only recently recognised weightlifting as a sport but this hasn’t been reflected in its participation and momentum which has been great. Weightlifting has many benefits to the service person, who is expected to perform in demanding situations, by increasing strength, mobility, resilience and determination; helping reduce the risk of injury.

Not only can weightlifting make a better service person but it is also very enjoyable and inclusive as a sport. Most, if not all, naval establishments will have facilities for weightlifting and no matter your age, size, or gender it can be practiced by all.

Royal Navy Weightlifting already represented at many competitions; military and civilian, with great results.


Chairman - Lt Col Roly Brading

Secretary – POPT Tim Scrivener

Coaching co-ord – Cpl Tommy Richards

Head Coach – LPT Hayley Saunders

Coaching co-ordinator for courses – Tommy Richards:

 Performance Manager/Head Coach – Hayley Saunders:

Social Media:




Competitions play an integral role; bringing together different parts of the Armed Forces around a common interest and allowing those serving battle it out on the platform in a test of strength, power, skill and flexibility.

British Weight Lifting held its first official inters services championships in 2019 and also ran a Virtual UKAF Open online alongside our regular British Open Series.

Members of the Armed Forces can also take part in our regular events. Our full competition calendar is available to view here. 

Over the years we have also received support from various members of the Armed Forces at our national and international weightlifting and para powerlifting events in voluntary loading and officiating capacities. We are incredibly grateful for those contributions and thankful to the many individuals who have given up their time to help us develop both sports and run successful events. 



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