The Karen Gardner Memorial Awards, for Outstanding Female Performance at the 2023 Gold Cup

Read by Paul Barette: Event Host and Promoter

Presented by Steve Gardner

Karen Gardner

As you know, at this year‘s Gold Cup we are honouring the memory of Karen. Karen was an ambassador for females lifting in our wonderful sport. Karen was not the first female to lift in IAWA when she started almost 30 years ago, but she was, and has always been a big influencer, helper and supporter to all new lifters (many who called her Mum) especially the female lifters.

At a time when there were not too many girls having a go Karen forged a way forward, she was many times IAWA Champions at Open and Masters levels, the holder of very many World Records, and ‘firsts’ in ladies lifting, and fittingly became the first female lifter to be inducted into the IAWA(UK) Hall of Fame. It is no exaggeration to say that Karen has been an establishing factor in the fact that we quite rightly see so many female lifters taking part today.

Steve has decided to honour those female lifters taking part today in this ‘Karen’s Memorial event’ in the knowledge she would be so proud of you all. Steve will present the Karen Gardner Memorial Awards, and has asked me to announce it, for obvious difficult reasons….


Chloe Brennan

Natalie Voce

Beata Banas

Grace Gardner

Diane Gardner

Mollie Redfern Smith

Pheobe Ames

Hannah Ames