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International Women’s Day: Louise Sugden Q&A

Louise Sugden is the latest elite athlete to answer our questions on International Women's Day. You can check out what the Commonwealth Medallist and European Champion said.

International Women’s Day: Louise Sugden Q&A

How is your training going at the moment with the current lockdown restrictions? 

I'm fortunate to be able to train in Loughborough still within the elite athlete exemption. This is really helping me prepare for Manchester later this month and strengthen my Tokyo qualification rankings. 

With all the uncertainty in the world, how are you managing to stay focussed and

motivated?

 I've tried to ignore all the negative press and rumours around the Paralympic games and just focus on getting my training done every day. It's been difficult at times but now we've got a competition fast approaching it's much easier to maintain focus.

What are your thoughts ahead of the Manchester World Para Powerlifting World Cup and Tokyo 2020?

 I'm really looking forward to getting back on that competition platform. I am so incredibly grateful for all the hard work being put in to make these competitions happen in a way that is safe for everyone, I just can't wait to be back out there.

In the past para powerlifting has sometimes been seen as a male dominated sport, so how do you think these outdated stereotypes can be challenged today? 

I love to challenge these stereotypes and I really enjoy people's reactions when I tell them how much I can bench press. It's fantastic to see so many women that are proud to be physically strong and I think there's been a real shift in attitudes towards women and strength training in recent years. 

When it comes to life who is your biggest inspiration?

 That's a really difficult question for me, I don't think I have one person who I would say is my biggest inspiration. My family are the most incredible supporters and I always try to do them proud which inspires me to continue to work hard.

And finally, what advice would you give to someone who was new to para powerlifting and just starting out? 

Consistency is the absolute key to any strength sport. Sometimes it's just about turning up and getting a session done and sometimes you will feel really motivated but every session is so important. If you put in the work, especially when you're new to the sport, you'll get the rewards.   

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