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Its never too late to get involved in a sport: Jodey Hughes

Jodey Hughes is a Scottish weightlifter currently ranked number 3 in the UK. Jodey came second in the British Championships earlier this year with a total of 166kg, which is her best in-competition total as a 55kg lifter. She has previously competed in the 58kg, 64kg and 59kg categories. Jodey has been selected for this year’s Commonwealth Games, which are being held in Birmingham over July and August.

Its never too late to get involved in a sport: Jodey Hughes

We caught up with Jodey about her journey from being born in Canada not knowing what weightlifting was, to where she is now, the first Scottish weightlifter that has qualified for two Commonwealth Games and the oldest lifter on the Scottish Team. Jodey told us about how being ‘late’ to starting the sport has given her extra motivation.

“I didn’t grow up in Scotland, I was born in Canada. I played ice hockey at quite a high level which I started quite late in life (12 years old, this is old to start playing hockey in Canada). I started later which meant the rest of my team had a good few years on me and I didn’t want to be the one that would drag the team down. I worked incredibly hard to get better which I think has translated well both into weightlifting and my work. I’m not the most talented person in the room but I will be the hardest working.

Again, with weightlifting, I only started the sport in my thirties which is quite late to start. I was introduced to weightlifting from CrossFit. I loved working with the barbell and the feeling of lifting heavy weights. I was stronger than I was fit, so my coach gave me an Olympic weightlifting programme to follow to see how I responded and from there I qualified for my first British Championships and I’ve been there every year since.”

Jodey on qualifying for the games, what a home games means to her and her goals for the event.

“I’m the first female Scottish weightlifter to qualify for two Commonwealth Games and I’m also the oldest. This shows that with the right mindset, determination and grit, anything is possible.

For me, having the games in Birmingham is only a 4-hour commute for my friends and family, so I’m extremely delighted to be able to use this opportunity to showcase the sport.

For me, weightlifting is more than just lifting heavy weights above your head. It’s about doing things every day that I never dreamt I’d ever be capable of. Its knowing that every single kilo you lift has been earned and worked for. There are no short cuts in this game. It’s taught me how to overcome adversity, how to be resilient and deliver under pressure. These skills have certainly transferred to my life outside of weightlifting as well. 

People talk a lot about the sacrifices you make to compete at this level, but I do it because it’s fun and you’re surrounded by like-minded people that all understand how challenging and rewarding the sport is. 

To earn my spot at Birmingham 2022 just feels incredible. It’s been a really tough couple of years. Training over covid was hard. I was training alone in a small, cold damp shed after working for 12 hours but what got me through was, I knew I was l lucky enough to have the equipment at home which was one of the drivers for me. Although the training was tough, I remained consistent throughout and it has paid off massively: I will be competing at the games! 

My goals for the games will be to hit a double body weight clean and jerk. I have both of the movements; I just need to put them together. This training block just feels different. My coach Ken Holland has moved to London, but he now coaches me remotely which is harder, but it works and I’ve invested a lot in mental strength training which I believe will give me the edge I need. I cannot wait to get on that stage. Birmingham 2022 will be incredible!”

British Weight Lifting would like to congratulate Jodey on her hard work up to this point and wish her all the best at the games.

Jodey will be taking to the platform at 15:30 on Saturday 30 July at the NEC Hall.

You can still buy tickets here.

Want to get involved with weightlifting or para powerlifting?

You can become a member of British Weight Lifting here

Find your local club here

Read our introduction to weightlifting here

Read out introduction to para powerlifting here



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