British Grip & Olympic Championships – 27th January 2024 – Preston

Lifters & Officials at the 2024 British Grip & Olympic Championships

A few words about the event from Steve Gardner: One minutes silence was held for Frank Allen who recently passed away, Frank was a founder member of our organisation and will be sadly missed!

We lost a few lifters through illness but fourteen lifters managed to make it onto the platform to lift on the day and a super competition it was. Big thanks to Mark and Sam Haydock for hosting the event, as they have done for many years now. Thank you to the officials (some had travelled there just to help with the refereeing on the day). Thanks to all those who helped with the loading, helping us to keep the day going.

The Grip competition was held first, and then after a short lunch break we held the Olympic lifting event.

The lifting was really top class and many records were broken and 4th attempts taken. Emily Haydock was a pocket rocket, a very strong young lady for just ten. Mollie Redfern Smith continues to gain experience as she gets a bit older now (an ancient 16 lol!), we were lucky to have Claire Nolan lifting in her first IAWA competition, a lady with a lot of ability. James Rutter showed why he was voted the best Junior performer for 2023 as he continues to learn, and shows great strength. Gary Redfern Smith had some great moments showing good pressing power, and big Graham Saxton did well as usual taking a few records too. Paul Hallam lifted well and is always a great help in the loading department. Steve Moss enjoyed his lifting back on the platform after a while, showing good technique. Josh Davidson lifted exceptionally well as he always does pulling off some great lifts. Jamie Oates was dazzling in the Grip comp, very strong, and was game enough to have a go at the Olympics despite never having tried before (a real winners attitude).

Mark Haydock was his usual exceptional self, lots of power, lots of technique and lots of energy, supporting and helping everyone on the platform. Antony Parker continues to grow in stature, demonstrating good strength and lift application. Big Matt Jones was really explosive, and all over the lifts like a rash, putting on a great performance.

During the day Trainee Refs: Ray Dews, Matt Jones and Paul Hallam, all had plenty of refereeing practice and tuition as they continue their training on the path to becoming qualified officials.

All in All…. it was Another great day for IAWA(UK)!