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Landmark Partnership: British Weight Lifting and UK Armed Forces Weightlifting

In the world of sports, partnerships that foster growth and excellence deserve recognition. The collaboration between British Weight Lifting (BWL) and the UK Armed Forces Weightlifting Team (UKAFWL) stands as a testament to such alliances. Over the years, our organisations have worked in tandem, and now, we have formalised our commitment through a signed agreement that strengthens our bond. This agreement, bringing together BWL's expertise and UKAFWL's dedication, holds the promise of mutual benefits.

Landmark Partnership: British Weight Lifting and UK Armed Forces Weightlifting

UKAFWL, comprising members from the Army, Navy, and Royal Air Force, embodies synergy and ambition within the UK Armed Forces. Their goal to achieve Category 2 status within the Armed Forces is a testament to their dedication. While currently holding Category 3 status, they are diligently advancing the sport and nurturing athletes at all levels. Their unwavering commitment to a unified approach has been instrumental in driving the growth of the sport. Furthermore, in their commitment to fostering growth and excellence in the sport of weightlifting, the UK Armed Forces Weight Lifting has played a pivotal role in enhancing the British and English Championships. Their contribution of loaders to these prestigious competitions has proven invaluable in ensuring the seamless operation of these events, upholding the high standards and efficiency of these championships.

Within the UK Armed Forces Weightlifting community, the Royal Navy Weightlifting Association (RNWLA) stands as the latest addition. Established during the challenging days of the COVID lockdown in 2021, the committee has evolved significantly since its inception. Their efforts encompass grassroots training, competitions, and collaboration with the Army and RAF Weightlifting associations, contributing to the growth of the UK Armed Forces Weightlifting endeavour.

In 2022, the RNWLA reached a significant milestone with the launch of the Royal Navy Weightlifting Championships. This event served as a platform to select the team representing the Royal Navy at the inter-services Championships, hosted by the Navy at HMS TEMERAIRE. The competition exceeded expectations, playing a pivotal role in raising awareness and establishing a solid foundation for competitive weightlifting within the Royal Navy. Following this success, the RN BWL coaches organized numerous grassroots training sessions, targeting novice weightlifters at basic training establishments and NavyFit festival of sport events. These initiatives not only showcased the sport but also ignited enthusiasm for participation.

The Royal Navy and UK Armed Forces (UKAF) have seen their athletes rise to international prominence in recent years, showcasing exceptional talent and dedication. Cpl Tommy Richardson, a Royal Marine and member of the Royal Navy Weightlifting Association (RNWLA), achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first RNWLA representative at the Senior British Weightlifting (BWL) Championships. This accomplishment represents a remarkable achievement, signifying the Royal Navy's growing presence on the senior BWL stage.

Lt Col Roly Brading, another Royal Marine, proudly represented both the Royal Navy and Great Britain at the European and World Masters Championships in 2022. In the M40 89kg class, he secured a commendable 4th place in Europe and a 6th place finish at the world level. These achievements serve as a testament to his dedication and the potential for future success in major championships.

Meanwhile, in the world of UKAF weightlifting, Sian Peters has emerged as a standout talent. Her extensive track record includes multiple Welsh Championships and qualifications for the British Championships. In 2022, Sian's career reached new heights when she was selected to represent Wales at the prestigious Celtic Championships, a momentous occasion for a current serving member and a full international athlete.

Sian's success continued at the British Masters Championships, where she secured a gold medal while breaking records in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and Total categories. Her remarkable achievements extended to the European Masters, where she claimed gold in a highly competitive field, solidifying her position as a standout performer in the sport.

Sian's outstanding performance earned her a spot at the World Masters in Poland, a significant event for the Army, UKAF, and Weightlifting Wales. At the World Masters, she excelled once again, clinching a well-deserved World Silver Medal. Sian Peters not only stands as the best UKAF weightlifter but also ranks among the top athletes in the United Kingdom.

These accomplishments reflect the dedication and potential of both the Royal Navy and UKAF athletes on the international stage.

In 2023, the Royal Air Force (RAF) welcomed over 70 new lifters, thanks to the annual RAF novice and RAF Champs competitions. Five standout lifters, including Flt Lt Kim Adams, Cpl Luke Bretton, Cpl Saranya Sriganesh, AS1 Josh Hibs, and AS1 Jack Wright, have been integrated into the prestigious 2023 RAF Interservices squad, thanks to the efforts of dedicated coaches like Sgt Lee Coonan and others.

Notably, Cpl Steph Pye and Cpl Michael Cutler became the first RAF personnel to compete in the British Championships, securing impressive finishes of 8th and 4th place, respectively. Sgt Lee Coonan maintained his excellence at the British Masters with a second-place finish in his category for the second year running.

In conclusion, the agreement between British Weight Lifting and the UK Armed Forces Weight Lifting goes beyond mere paperwork. It signifies a commitment to a more inclusive and highly competitive future for weightlifting. This partnership represents the fusion of two entities united in their mission to support athletes and inspire a nation of lifters, promising a lasting impact on the sport of weightlifting in the UK.


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