With the risk of deteriorating weather conditions this evening we have decided not to run this evening. Sorry to cause any inconvenience on this but we think it is far safer than anyone attempting to make a training session and there being any problems or accidents. Assuming the snow isn’t here to stay we will be back to normal next week.
Today was the East Midlands Bench Press Competition. We had 2 Spartans competing today and were delighted to see Ben improve his technique and come away with a successful lift of 97.5kg and was unlucky not to get his third lift on the day. Newcomer to the competitive world was Joe Strike and competing in his first IPF competition he started conservatively which helped settled the nerves. Joe performed well and got all 3 lifts on the day and finished with 62.5kg and while he weighed in at 60kg this is an impressive unequipped lift in his very first competition. This competition left Ben with a 1st place while Joe managed 2nd place in his group as all age groups were competing together and he was competing against a long term veteran in the sport.
This proved a successful competition as both Ben and Joe qualified for the British Finals which will be held at the beginning of March. While Ben is becoming a veteran of the sport qualifying for the National competition in his very first IPF competition is impressive for Joe and he is now training hard towards this event and hopes to do as well again.
With Zoe, Chris and Robert competing later this month they will be hoping to do just as well.
Joe took part in the 31st Rotary Club National Championships today in Coventry. Joe finished with a lift of 62.5kg in front of a packed audience. This was a great effort and placed the Essex Powerlifting team in 3rd place in the competition and greatly helped the Essex team secure a 5th place overall. In addition to this Joe took part in the cycling element of the teams triathlon as well. This may well be the start of his success as Joe is now looking to compete again in the new year.
Last night saw the club highlighted at the Suffolk Sport Awards when 2 members of the club were shortlisted for awards. As usual the glamours event was attended by hundreds of local athletes, coaches and professionals in sport.
The first half of the evening saw Louise win the Suffolk FA ‘contribution to disability Sport’ award highlighting the time she has given to raise the profile of the sport as well as giving praise to the success that has been achieved. The second half of the evening though saw the big award of Suffolk County Council ‘sports personality of the year’ go to Zoe. In the end it was impossible to separate Zoe and Anthony Ogogo so both share the honours after a wonderful summer where both won bronze medals in London.
Zoe said ‘I’m delighted to win this award and happy to share the honours, it has been an amazing summer for all of us. I’m now getting back to training and preparing for my next competitions’
A huge thank you was needed today when Zoe from the club went to meet a fundraiser. Gareth Tansey decided to get fit and started running but then with the Ipswich half marathon to work towards he then piled on extra pressure by deciding to raise money for Suffolk Spartans at the same time.
Gareth did exceptionally well and not only completed the marathon but also managed to raise £650 for the club at the same time. The funds will go towards additional equipment for the club as well as a few running costs. The club were bowled over by the generosity shown and everyone at Network Rail in Ipswich, where Gareth works were pleased to meet Zoe and see her medal as she was presented with the fundraising efforts. Huge thanks to Stewart Cowan for helping to organise all the fundraising. We are a small club witout any regular funding so this will be very carefully spent.
We are going to be holding a celebration for Zoe in recognition of her achievements in winning a bronze medal at London 2012. The event will be at East Bergholt Sports Centre this Friday 14th September and ask that people arrive about 5.30pm. We will be able to show clips of Zoe in various competitions as well as in London itself and there will be an opportunity to see Zoe and her medal.
This event will be open to all those that want to come and we will have some refreshments available. The spartans training session will take place alongside this event so everyone can see what usually takes place although Zoe maybe to busy with photos to be able to take part.
Tonight was electric in the ExCel arena for the biggest performance of Zoe’s career so far. The audience was full and it was clear who most were there to see by the noise but Zoe remained calm and focused throughout her lifts and didn’t let the occasion get to her. She was enjoying the support as she finished each lift with waves to the crowd.
Zoe weighed in at 39.4kg and with her first attempt lifted 84kg, her second lift of 88kg was unsuccessful although this decision was queried but on her second time of asking she was successful. With competitors around her failing to make their lifts Zoe was able to rise to the occasion. She showed tremendous strength as all that additional support could have affected her performance but she didn’t let it alter her game plan throughout and she was justly rewarded.
Zoe had said before the competition that her aim was to get a personal best and a medal would be a bonus she couldn’t think to much about. However the afternoon proved very different and while she only managed to equal her previous personal best of 88kg set in January 2012 she was able to secure a medal, Bronze.
Zoe has said that it still hasn’t sunk in and the whole thing seems surreal but this will soon change as it does all become a reality. Most of the Suffolk Spartans club were there to support Zoe along with family and friends and a great deal of East Bergholt
Today as part of our annual competition we gave pride of place for the first part of the morning to the Paralympic Flame as it completed a tour of Suffolk taking in 3 clubs and several sports centres.
More than 200 people turned out for the morning of celebration which started with the flame being carried in by our very own Zoe Newson just a week ahead of her competing in London. There was a flurry of cameras and videos to capture this moment.
Once the flame left attention turned to the competition itself and we had a number of personal best performances from members of the club. We were also pleased to welcome as always a number of lifters from Hamiltons. The most improved performance has to go to Chris Rix who managed a personal best of 132.5kg but the best lifter on the day was announced as Cliff Haynes.
At the end of the mornings lifting we were able to wish Zoe the best of luck for next week. She will be competing on Thursday 30th August between 6 and 7pm and most of those that attended will be going to support her. We believe there maybe coverage on More4 from 6.30pm for those that couldn’t get tickets to this sold out event.
Today saw all members of the GB squad compete in the IPC British Finals and we were there to support Zoe through this as her last competition ahead of London 2012. She opened with 82kg and followed this with a successful 85kg before failing her final lift of 87kg.
Based on the AH formula Zoe is still ranked as the best female athlete in Great Britain and with other GB athletes in the London 2012 team having a mixed day Zoe was happy with her performance. Her focus for training still remains London and she hadn’t taken the normal breaks from her training that would be customary for a competition.
Paralympics GB have today announced the squad that will be representing Great Britain in the Powerlifting and we are pleased to at last be able to tell everyone that a founding member of Suffolk Spartans Zoe Newson has been offered a place at London 2012 by the International Paralympic Committee. Not only has she managed this but currently she is ranked 4th in the World in her weight class, the highest ranking of any of the GB Powerlifters announced today. Zoe was thrilled and has today been in London to be a part of the team announcement before she returns home and starts the serious business of training for this the biggest of tests. We wish her all the best for the competition and will be helping her prepare as well as taking as many of the club to the Excel Arena on 30th August to support her.