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Sunderland’s first British Weight Lifting affiliated competition is going to be the NIXON ROWELL MEMORIAL CUP at Raich Carter hosted by Weights & Cakes CIC

Weights & Cakes CIC is Sunderland’s only affiliated British Weight Lifting Talent Academy for children, teenagers and adults based in Southwick, Sunderland.

Set up by Masters weightlifter Zoe Chandler in 2020, Weights & Cakes offers a unique approach to weightlifting. Not only do they teach their young people a new sport and prepare them for competitions, but they also offer a holistic approach whilst working to focus on the athlete in front of them and their needs.

Sunderland’s first British Weight Lifting affiliated competition is going to be the  NIXON ROWELL MEMORIAL CUP at Raich Carter hosted by  Weights & Cakes CIC

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “Weights and Cakes is one of those organisations I’d love every community to have - and I’m delighted it’s here in the heart of Southwick. There’s always something happening to give local kids opportunities and to inspire them, and this competition is the perfect example of that. To learn that some of the kids taking part have benefited from projects funded by my office to help improve lives in the local area is just fantastic. I’m sure it will be a memorable experience and I wish the kids taking part the best of luck in bringing home the medals.”

Councillor Michael Butler said ‘Southwick has a long history of producing champions inside a ring and this continues with excellent boxing clubs, but little did we know that we had our own weightlifting champion here in Southwick. As a Southwick Ward Councillor I am only too happy to support Weights & Cakes and local kids via our community chest fund. This has gone on to allow kids that wouldn’t have had access to this kind of gym, to excel and compete in national competitions. We are very proud of this gym in Southwick and here’s to the next generation of Southwick champions.

On Sunday 28th May the team will be hosting and running the first ever affiliated British Weight Lifting competition in Sunderland, based at Raich Carter.

Nixon Rowell was a British weightlifting champion in 1930’s and was born and raised in Southwick, Sunderland. The competition will be an annual event in his honour and awards will be presented by his daughter.

Through their work with projects such as Holiday, activity and food with Together for children and Department of Education, Youth Justice, local schools, Yolo project and The Darker Nights campaign they have supported over twenty children who will be ready to compete in national competitions. They have also opened this event to other affiliated clubs in the North of England. Half of the profits from the competition will go towards scholarships, training and future competitions and the other half will be donated to the local foodbank here in Sunderland.

Chris Murray, GB Athlete and Gold Medalist at Commonwealth Games 2022 says ‘Theres nothing better than a competition to showcase all the athletes hard work and training in the gym. The Nixon Rowell competition will be a great opportunity for athletes to push themselves both physically and mentally in a controlled environment. On a recent visit to Weights & Cakes I was impressed by the level of commitment to our sport, seeing a club with children enjoying the sport and learning to become better athletes was a testament to the coaches and the club’.

 Steve Sharp, North East Development Coach from North Tyneside Barbells said “its great to see clubs like Weights & Cakes raising the profile of our sport and providing more opportunities for people to take part in it within the North East, We’re all very much looking forward to the competition, celebrating the memory of Nixon Rowell, a former British Weightlifing champion from Sunderland,

Weights & Cakes work with young people from all backgrounds creating a community of interest that promotes social inclusion and cohesion. Their approaches have proven to be particularly attractive to those young people who can be considered harder to reach, many our members are neurodiverse and/or have a Special Educational Need. Levels of teenage anti-social behaviours are high in Southwick with children at risk of adopting criminal lifestyles. Social isolation and bullying are also common place, leaving children withdrawn and suffering from negative mental health. They have been affected by the reduction of out of school activities due to austerity, leaving many directionless and lost.

If you’d like to support their competition, they need volunteers to help on the day and supporters are welcome along to the club to view our youth team in action. Sponsorship opportunities are also available upon request.

You can follow the club and their progress across social media.

Search FB: Weightsandcakesbarbellclub

Instagram: Weights & Cakes CIC

Twitter: Weights_Cakes

Linkedin: Zoe Chandler


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