Zoe Smith, current British Senior Champion and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist who will be taking part in the competition at the Ricoh Arena

British Weightlifting Championships return to the Ricoh

5th March 2015

British Senior Weightlifting and Para-Powerlifting Championships

The nation’s best male and female weightlifters and para-powerlifters will be returning to the Ricoh Arena in June to compete for the coveted title of British Senior Champion, as part of a long-term partnership between British Weight Lifting and the Midlands venue.

The competition debuted at the Ricoh Arena last year, attracting 117 athletes and a record number of spectators across the two days as the largest venue ever to be used by British Weight Lifting.

The 2015 Championships will host the UK’s favourite weightlifters including current Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Zoe Smith, 2014 European Youth Championships runner-up and youngest ever British Senior Champion Rebekah Tiler, British record holder Mercy Brown, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ben Watson and Olympian, British and English Champion Jack Oliver.

Jack is also English and British record holder in the men’s 77kg category, having recently smashed records that had been held for over 15 years.

The para-powerlifting competition will also feature star names including current IPC World Champion and World record holder Ali Jawad, Invictus Games gold medallist Micky Yule and four-time Paralympian Natalie Blake.

Other athletes that will be competing at the Ricoh include men’s GB internationals Sonny Webster, Gareth Evans, Darius Jokarzadeh, Owen Boxall, Chris Freebury and Jaswant Shergill; the women’s competition will also host international competitors Emily Godley, Sarah Davies, Hannah Powell and Jo Calvino, as well as recent English champions Noorin Galum and Grace Lilley.

Ashley Metcalfe, CEO of British Weight Lifting, said: “The decision to move to the Ricoh Arena last year was a clear indication of our determination to provide the best possible facilities for our athletes, coaches and spectators and we were delighted with the feedback following the event which was a fantastic showcase for the sport.

“The Ricoh Arena provides our athletes with practice and warm-up facilities that are undoubtedly the best we’ve used for a domestic competition and we are aiming to build on last year’s impressive ticket sales to develop the competition even further and grow the wider interest of the sport.”

This year’s National Championships are scheduled just over a year before the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio and athletes will be determined to deliver stand-out performances in support of their campaigns to compete at next summer’s Games.

Ashley added: “The 2015 competition schedule is all about qualification and preparation for Rio 2016 and the British Seniors has an important part to play in this, as the only qualifying event for the World Senior Championships in November where athletes will be competing for points to secure their place on the GB team next summer.

“The British Seniors will therefore demand the very best from our athletes and we anticipate big performances and tough competition in June.”

Chris Owen, senior events manager at the Ricoh Arena, said Hall 5 was an ideal venue for the British Senior Weightlifting and Para-Powerlifting Championships.

“It would be great to beat last year’s ticket sales so that the athletes are cheered on by even more spectators in their bid for national honours,” he said.

“The sport is gaining in popularity after its profile increased thanks to the home nation successes at last summer’s Commonwealth Games and the dedication of all the athletes taking part is evident throughout the different categories.

“This is the second of our three-year deal with the sport’s governing body and we hope the crowd will inspire the athletes to produce their very best performances.”

Tickets for the British Senior Championships are priced at just £5 for under-16s and concessions and £10 for adults for one day passes, and £7.50 and £15 for two day passes. These can be purchased online by visiting www.tickets.com and entering “weightlifting” into the search bar.

For more information on the competition please contact a member of the British Weight Lifting team at enquiries@britishweightlifting.org or on 0113 224 9402.