Powerlifting ladies day held at Catterick Garrison’s ITC

S/Sgt Kerry Hopkinson grimaces as she carries out her first squat lift.

One of the fastest growing sports in the British Army has held a special ladies day competition at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) in Catterick Garrison.

More than 30 servicewomen from around the country from novices to experts attended the fourth such competition organised by Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Sheridan Lucas, a Company Sergeant Major with Peninsular Company at the 1st Infantry Training Battalion at the ITC.

WO2 Lucas said they used to struggle to attract women into the sport but interest had continued to grow over the last few years.

“Five years ago there would only have been between 10 to 15 turning up to the event but today we have more than 30 female soldiers registered.

“They have come from the South and all around the country which clearly shows more people are investing in the sport.”

WO2 Lucas, herself a former world record holder at 65 kg for bench pressing, said that within the Army Powerlifting Union they had several athletes who were competing at national, international and world level.

Although many novices attended the day several were competing to produce qualifying standards for national and international competitions.

 

For Staff Sergeant Kerry Hopkinson, from 16 Signal Regiment based in Stafford, it was the very first time she had come to such an event.

“I have done 21 years in the Army and I have enjoyed doing netball and skiing but this is a brand new challenge. It’s made me realise I can lift weights with the right coaching and there is a really friendly atmosphere between the girls. It’s been great.”

Officer Cadet Alison Booker, 32, from the Officer Training Regiment in Leeds, said she had been encouraged to start powerlifting by watching the event in London 2012 Olympics and had switched between powerlifting and body-building.

“But it wasn’t until I joined the Officer Training Course in 2017 that one of the Physical Training Instructors suggested I could lift for the British Army and since then I have tried to be more structured in my training.

“I feel really blessed that I have been able to represent the British Army and that was my initial aspiration but now, moving forward I would love to compete internationally especially for the Army and that would by my ultimate dream,” she said.