A 22 year-old weightlifter, who has beaten off the challenges of her cerebral palsy to become one of Jersey's strongest women, has returned to the island with a gold medal around her neck after successful lifts in a British contest.
Rachel Leck, who was selected to represent Team GB at the World Classic Bench Press Championship in Tokyo next month after just one year of training, was awarded the top prize in the British Weight Lifting Para Powerlfiting Spring Open last weekend.
Since her first weightlifting session in April 2018 as part of the Jersey Sport Foundation (JSF) ‘Power to Podium’ Programme, Rachel has been achieving great results in UK competitions. She scored high from her very first competition, equalling her Personal Best (PB) and unknowingly qualifying for the British Classic Bench Press Championships in February.
It was at this contest that she went on to take the second place after lifting 57.5kg and 62.5kg - a performance that ranked her second in Britain for her age and weight category. It also led her to receive an unexpected invitation to represent Great Britain at the World Classic Bench Press Championships, which will take place between 18 and 21 May in Tokyo.
Pictured: Rachel took the Gold Medal in the British Weight Lifting Para Powerlfiting Spring Open.
And the successes just keep on coming.
Last weekend, Rachel snatched a Gold medal in the British Weight Lifting Para Powerlfiting Spring Open - even though she said she only went to gain experience.
“After my first para competition, the goal this time was to just get at least two white lights and a good lift! I was really excited and jumping up and down when I got my first good lift and did fist pumps with the coaches! Then I knew I just had to do the same again on my second lift to get gold!”
The young athlete says she then celebrated by treating herself to a dinner of Spanish Tapas at a local restaurant, topped off with cheesecake for dessert and later some doughnuts.
Pictured: Rachel (right) with fellow para powerlifters at the competition.
She now has her eyes set on the World Bench Press Championships in Tokyo, and is keen to make the best use of the five weeks left before the competition possible.
As British Powerlifting are unable to financially support their athletes, Rachel has been looking for sponsors to help her achieve her dream. So far, she has managed to raise just over half of the £2,000 she needs.
“I’m excited for [the championships], and my result this weekend has really boosted my confidence. I’m just going to go out there and enjoy the experience and my Mum will get to see me complete too as she’s coming with me, which will be nice!”
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Last session before British Para Spring Open on Saturday - Keeping it light - Speed Bench - 1 x 4 @ 40% / 1 x 4 @ 45% / 2 x 4 @ 50% Medial Delts - 3 x 6 Serratus Activation - 3 x 10 Bent Over Row - 3 x 5 @ 50% Rear Delts - 3 x 8 Side Holds - 45s each side Ab Holds - 3 x 20s - Excited for @greggs_official doughnuts after comp - Quest to be a @Gymshark Day #38 ———————————————————————————— Wearing @gymshark @gymsharkwomen Top: Crest Hoodie Leggings: Slounge - #bench #benchpress #weighttraining #strengthtraining #muscle #goals #gains #fitness #fitnessmotivation #fitnessjourney #doyouevenlift #girlswholift #girlswhopowerlift #gymshark #gymsharkwomen #gymsharktrain #gymsharkspotted #beavisionary #powerlifting #powerlifter #powerliftinggirls #powerliftingwomen #strongwomen #strongisnotasize #parapowerlifting #paraathlete
But the championships are not the only reason Rachel’s schedule is going to get busy over the next few weeks. She is studying for her accountancy exams in June and thanked her firm, Deloitte, for supporting and sponsoring her.
“We are training four times a week,” she added. "I’m just going to keep building my strength as I don’t have to worry as much about technique in the able-bodied bench competitions.”
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