Despite only taking up the sport a year ago, Newport on Tay’s Helen Weavers has qualified for the autumn’s World Masters Weightlifting Championships in Lapland.
Following a serious case of pneumonia, which left the 35-year-old in hospital, University of Dundee employee Helen decided she needed a new challenge once she had recovered.
Through her work at the university’s institute of sport and exercise, she realised weightlifting was the new focus she needed.
Just months after starting to train with well known weightlifting coach Ray Cavanagh, Helen competed in her first ever event, winning the Scottish Masters Championships and setting a new Scottish record for her weight category – 75kg+ .
This also gave Helen the qualifying standard for the European Masters Championships, which take place this June in Bangor, Wales.
Following another win in her age and weight category at the British Masters Championships in March, Helen was a guest lifter at the Scottish Under 23 Championships in Glasgow earlier this month.
And this is where she reached the qualifying standard for the World Masters Championships, which will take place in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, from September 12-19.
Helen said: “Through my work as a sports scientist, I had always worked with athletes to make them stronger through weightlifting, but it was only after I got ill and needed a new goal did I consider taking it up competitively myself.
“I can’t quite believe how far I have come since my first competition and how much I am learning everyday about the sport – both from my coach Ray and from trying new things myself.
“When I reached the qualifying weight for the world championships, I was blown away.
“I was desperate to go to Lapland and try and compete against the best in the world.
“Now that dream is a reality.
“I am training six days a week and having to eat lots of protein and cut out all the naughty things from my diet.
“I don’t mind, though, because I have two very clear goals for this summer – the Europeans then the Worlds.
“I feel like I have nothing to lose, and I am just going to go for it.”
Helen is looking for sponsors and support to aid her journey to the World Masters Weightlifting Championships.
If you would like to help, get in touch with her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org