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)!


RIP Frank Allen

From IAWA(UK) Chairman – Steve Andrews

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that Frank Allen passed away on Saturday 13th January aged 81.

He was one of the founders of IAWA uk and multiple title and World records holder. He had been my coach and lifting buddy since 1979.

You will be missed by all who knew you Frank🙏

I will put out more information regarding funeral arrangements when I am given them, and it would be wonderful if we could have a great attendance from lifters past and present.

God bless you Frank.x

From IAWA(UK) President – Steve Gardner

Photos of a Legend ……Frank Allen in earlier days, he was a talented all round weight lifter and i had the pleasure of seeing him on the platform many times, performing some really great lifts! One of the original organisers of our organisation Frank also played many serving committee member roles.

In these photos Frank is seen performing a Zercher Lift, and then making the Hall of Fame Induction Award to the late great Mike Archer. Frank was himself inducted into the IAWA Hall of Fame in 2001, and in 2014 he received the IAWA Award of Merit, the highest Award that can be presented in IAWA Internationally! Frank will be missed by all who knew him.

Postal League Results – Leg 6

Here are leg 6 results of the Bob Smith All-Round Postal League and the Final Rankings for 2023.

Well done to all lifters that participated and supported the league this year!

The top 3 teams for leg 6 were – Bionic Branch Barbell Club – Club3B, MetamorFIT1 & Bionic Branch Barbell Club – Club3B2.

The top 3 lifters for leg 6 were Glenn Branch, George Johns & Danny Brumpton.

The final rankings for 2023 saw MetamorFIT1 take 1st place, Granby 2nd and MetamorFIT2 in 3rd place. Congratulations to all the team members.

The final individual rankings were Steve Andrews – 1st Place, Mark Godleman – 2nd Place & Danny Kingsland – 3rd Place.

If you qualify for an award (12 lifts or more), please contact Paul Barette before end of December to claim.

A very big thank you to Christopher Bass for all his work in compiling the League for the year and verifying all the successful records achieved!

Click here to download the full results


2024 Fixtures

At the IAWA(UK) AGM (Saturday 9th December) the proposed Fixtures for 2024 were approved.

You can find them by clicking here.

Some events have further information to follow which will be updated throughout the year.

The IAWA(UK) Committee Recognises the hard work our promoters do in hosting these events, and together with the work Steve Gardner has completed, as our Fixture List coordinator.

We express our thanks to everyone involved!

Drug Testing News….

From: Drug Control Officer – Gary Ell

“I am pleased to report that the tests carried out at the recent 2023 Gold Cup (held in Eastbourne on 4th November) both returned negative results”

Seated Disability Lifts Rule Amendments

Minor rule adjustments have been added to the Seated Disability Lifts.

The angle of the incline bench has been specified so as to ensure ‘overhead’ lifts remain so, rather than using an angle that would incorporate more of a chest press position.

The rule book has been updated to reflect these changes.

Please click here to view the updated Rule book.

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

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