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Congratulations to our 10 new Talent Academies

British Weight Lifting (BWL) are very excited to announce that 10 affiliated clubs have passed their Talent Academy accreditation, which will help young athletes to progress and the clubs to thrive.

Congratulations to our 10 new Talent Academies

What is a Talent Academy?

Talent academies are clubs actively engaged with BWL to ensure that young athletes are provided with safe, supportive and inclusive training environments and that they can get access to high quality coaching, that aligns to BWL’s long term athlete development (LTAD) strategy.

To become accredited as a Talent Academy each club is expected to demonstrate and then maintain specific standards of practice in each of the 4 key areas below:

  1. Club Health (Governance, Culture & Safeguarding)
  2. Club Sustainability
  3. Coach Development
  4. Athlete Development

BWL will review each club on an annual basis each spring.

“We are very proud of the effort that these clubs and our regional coaches have put in to upskilling themselves to meet the requirements of this accreditation and we hope these new Talent academies will become great role models for the wider club network.” – Ashley Metcalfe, BWL – CEO

Congratulations to:

  • Atlas WL (Alfreton, Derbyshire)
  • Colchester WL (Colchester, Essex)
  • Europa (Dartford, Kent)
  • Galleon WL (Truro, Cornwall)
  • Lakeside WL (Eastleigh, Hampshire)
  • North Tyneside Barbells (Howdon, Newcastle upon Tyne)
  • Oxford Power Sports (Oxford, Oxfordshire)
  • Pride Performance (Warrington, Cheshire)
  • Sheffield Hallam (Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
  • Wild Boar Weightlifting (Lydney, Gloucestershire)

“The process of completing the accreditation taught us a lot about our club - what we do well and what we have to work on. This was a valuable exercise in club development, governance and safeguarding - all vital areas for the delivery of an effective club programme and modern sport.” – Dave Hembrough (Hallam Barbell)

“We are super excited to be working with British Weight Lifting as one of the selected Youth Talent Academy’s in the UK and have undergone a vigilant process to ensure that our clubs governance and safeguarding is up to the high standards expected from BWL” – Charlie Francis (Equation Fitness)

“The process for this accreditation started back in early 2019 and has evolved significantly during that time, we have learnt a large amount as an NGB about what is happening on the ground including the various challenges facing these clubs. We are incredibly grateful to all the clubs who have engaged in the process, not only for their willingness to put the work in to achieve these standards but also for sharing their experience with each other and engaging in the various development opportunities we have provided.” – Stuart Martin (BWL Head of Performance)

These 10 English clubs will play a critical role in growing a broad and diverse base of young athletes engaged in weightlifting and will contribute heavily to BWL’s athlete recruitment strategy by delivering BWL’s new ‘Raise the bar project’ across the home nations this autumn.

“We are really proud to have achieved talent academy status, and excited for how it can help us share our passion for weightlifting, identify and develop new talent in the sport through the Raise the Bar project”. – Julie Morrish (Oxford Power Sports)

“The sport in this country is growing all the time and we are very excited to work with these clubs to create more opportunities than ever before for young people to participate in safe and inclusive environments under the supervision of skilled coaches.” – Jennifer Tong (BWL Non-Executive Board member for Athlete Experience)

To support the development of Talent Academies BWL has provided a variety of support including coach development opportunities, expert advice, a community for sharing good practice, as well as equipment and financial support from Sport England to deliver the Raise the bar project later in 2021.

“Throughout the journey so far we've had access to some fantastic webinars which have allowed us to pick the brains of specialists, develop our approach and have access to people you wouldn't usually be able to learn from.” – Heather Flannery (Pride Performance)

 “The clubs have impressed us by being open to learning from individuals outside the sport and recognising areas where they could innovate their approach and improve the support they provide to their club members.” – Stuart Martin (BWL Head of Performance)


How do I become a BWL Talent Academy?

If you would like to learn more about the BWL Talent Academy process or would like to get in contact with your local BWL Talent Academy, please contact for more information.











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