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Historically, sport transfer has been a common route into competitive weightlifting, and has produced some of BWL’s top performing athletes, with Emily Campbell and Zoe Smith being just a couple.

Athletes tend to transfer to weightlifting from many sports such as judo, gymnastics, athletics, CrossFit and more.


The Talent Transfer Programme has been designed to identify athletes with potential from various sporting backgrounds. The aim of the programme is to provide a small group of talented young athletes aged 14-22 with a 2-year accelerated introduction into the sport of weightlifting.

Through this two year period, the athletes will:

  • Learn the key fundamentals behind the correct techniques involved
  • Learn how to effectively execute the Olympic lifts and derivatives
  • Learn how to complete strength and conditioning work that compliments weightlifting training
  • Attend training camps at the national centre in Nottingham every 8 weeks
  • Take part in several mock and official BWL competitions
  • Gain access to the BWL education platform and complete the Complete British Weightlifter Level 1 and 2 courses, receiving certification at the end
  • Learn the key skills and attributes that make a top weightlifter

The process kicks off with a 'Come and Try' event where athletes are introduced to the sport by Emily Muskett, Talent Lead and the BWL coaching team.

Phase One

A number of athletes are invited to attend a phase one event where they learn how to snatch, clean & jerk and back squat. These athletes are given a training programme to follow in their own time.

Phase Two

Six to eight weeks later the athletes are asked to attend a final phase two event.

It is here that the athletes test themselves and the BWL coaching team review the progress that they have made.

The results are analysed and a select few (10 - 14 athletes) are invited onto the Talent Transfer programme, where they attend a phase 3 camp.

Phase Three

This is where their weightlifting journey officially begins! Upon selection athletes are signposted to train at recognised weightlifting clubs with qualified coaches, attend regular training camps in Nottingham with Emily and the performance team, followed a structured training programme and receive regular guidance from virtual coaches.

Please see the diagram below for a more detailed plan of how the Talent Transfer programme is structured.

BWL Talent Transfer Programme Overview

In October 2021, more than 500 athletes from a number of sports attended a UK Sport ‘From Home 2 The Games’ campaign, which offered them the opportunity to try out new sports. Emily and the performance staff used this event to identify and contact potential weightlifting talent.

Following this event and a rigorous selection process, nine athletes were invited onto the BWL programme in January 2022, and upon selection have been signposted to train at recognised weightlifting clubs with qualified coaches, attend regular training camps in Nottingham with Emily and the performance team, follow a structured training programme, and receive regular guidance from virtual coaches.

After only three months of weightlifting, the nine athletes from the Talent Transfer programme took to the platform in their first competition, the England Commonwealth Trials held at Brunel University.

The group produced some exceptional performances, all athletes went 3 for 3 on the snatches, and only 2 lifts were missed out of a total 54 lifts on the platform. You can view the full competition results here.

The athletes in this group range from 15 to 22 years of age and display great potential for the future.

The talent transfer squad consists of the following athletes:

  • Cayanne Pollock
  • Isabel Kerley
  • Sophie Henry
  • Clara Dunbavin
  • Funmi Morgan
  • Jake Dickie
  • Dylan Dickie
  • Christopher Charles
  • Jude Costley

Applications are now closed and are being considered.

The next ‘Come and Try’ event will be held at Loughborough University on 11 September 2022.



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