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Para Powerlifting made its debut at the 1964 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, featuring a handful of male competitors with spinal cord injuries. Fast-forward to the present day and the sport boasts hundreds of elite male and female athletes from a variety of disability groups, representing more than 110 countries. Considered as the ultimate test of upper body strength, Para Powerlifting is one of the fastest growing Paralympic sports. The British Powerlifting programme has been incredibly successful winning 32 Paralympic medals over the years including 8 gold, and we are incredibly proud to support the growth of Para Powerlifting throughout the UK.

World Class Performance Program

The High-Performance mission at British Weight Lifting (BWL) is to develop a sustainable World Class Programme (WCP) for Para-Powerlifting that supports the development and preparation of talented lifters and demonstrates the potential to produce medal winning performances consistently at Paralympic Games in the future.

Para powerlifting selection policies and application forms

The High-Performance sporting mission at British Weight Lifting (BWL) is to establish
and offer a sustainable World Class Programme (WCP) experience for talented Para-
Powerlifters, which supports their development as people and performers. The
experience is an opportunity to maximise development and preparation in order for
the team to demonstrate the potential of producing medal winning performances
consistently at Paralympic Games in the future.

Paris 2024 Paralympic Games BWL Appeals Procedure

Paris 2024 Paralympic Games BWL Selection Policy

2024/2025 Para Powerlifting World Class Program Selection Policy

2024/2025 Para Powerlifting World Class Program Application Form

BWL Para Powerlifting Appeals Policy and Procedures

2024 Dubai World Cup Policy 

Find out more about our athletes and coaches


Club / Gym:   Suffolk Spartans

Hometown: East Bergholt

Category: Women’s up to 41kg

Find out more about Zoe

Club / Gym: Loughborough

Hometown: Musselburgh

Category   Men’s up to 72kg

Find out more about Micky

Club / Gym Loughborough

Category Women’s up to 86kg

Home Town Newbury


Gym / Club: Loughborough University

Hometown Chorley

Category Women’s up to 50kg

Find out more about Olivia

Club / Gym Powerbase

Hometown: Seaham

Category: Men’s up to 65kg

Find out more about Mark


Club / Gym: Crayford Weights and Loughborough

Category: Men’s over 107kg

Hometown: Dartford, Kent

Find out more about Liam

Club / Gym Loughborough Powerbase gym

Hometown: Harrogate

Category: Women’s up to 50kg


Hometown: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Club / Gym: Training Shed, St Ives.

Category: Men’s up to 54kg



Role: Paralympic Performance Director 

Role: Lead High Performance Coach

Role: Pathway Development Coach


Positive Squad Culture & Values


British Weight Lifting implemented a positive squad culture and good values framework to ensure the welfare of athletes on the World Class programme.

In the video above Tom shares an element of the programme's approach to culture development through which the goal is to accelerate the development of people with in it faster and further. 

International Classification and Licensing

In order to compete nationally or internationally a number of things need to be arranged and understood. You need to be a member of British Weight Lifting and understand your eligibility to compete in the sport.

Below you will find World Para Powerlifting's International Classification rules and regulations as well as BWL's approach to enabling athletes who don't quite meet the international minimum disability requirements for an eligible impairment, to compete nationally only.

In order to explore your eligibility, you will need to get in touch with BWL, complete the WPPO medical diagnostics form and attach supporting diagnostic documentation that confirms your diagnosis and impairment.

BWL can then have the information reviewed by an International Classifier to give you an initial understanding of your likely international classification outcome. 

Check out our classification slideshow below which walks through the process.

You can also consider becoming registered and licensed with the international federation (The World Para Powerlifting Organisation) in order to compete internationally should you meet the classification requirements. This requires:

  • A digital passport style photo
  • A scanned copy of your passport
  • A signed athlete eligibility agreement (See next box below)

Talent Pathway Programme

We have developed a pathway for our country’s most promising athletes to fulfil their potential and represent Great Britain on the international stage. The programme comprises a series of tasks, challenges and experiences designed to provide athletes with insight into what it takes to compete at the sport’s highest level and to aid British Weight Lifting coaches in determining who is most suited for selection onto the World Class Programme.

 On successful completion of the Talent Pathway Programme, athletes have the potential to be selected on to the World Class Programme, which is aimed at supporting the development of athletes who are on a trajectory of medal winning potential at future Paralympic Games.

Athlete Support Schemes

TASS (Talented Athlete Support Scheme)  provides a number of Britain’s leading Lifters with support during their time in Further and Higher education. The scheme provides athletes with access to key support services including Lifestyle, Physiotherapy, Strength & Conditioning, Psychology and Nutrition.

SportsAid also helps young, unfunded athletes to overcome one of their greatest barriers to success - the financial challenge of trying to become Britain’s next generation of Olympians, Paralympians and world champions. The charity helps over 1,000 athletes across more than 60 sports each year, the majority aged 12 to 18, by providing them with an average award of £1,000





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