Meet the Weightlifting Wales Staff!
Meet the Weightlifting Wales Staff!
Simon Roach, Sport Manager
“I have an unprecedented passion for Weightlifting and it’s development in Wales. I am fortunate to have been involved in the sport for over 30 years, both as a competitor and coach. I have been delighted to represent Wales at 5 Commonwealth Games in both coach and team manager positions. Following a successful career in teaching, it is now a pleasure to develop all aspects of this great sport in our principality.”
Neil Taylor, South Performance Manager
“I am the South Wales Performance Manager and three times Commonwealth Games Weightlifter and medallist, I went on to forge a successful career in International Rugby spanning 13 years as a performance strength and conditioning coach, incorporating three Junior Rugby World Cup wins along the way. I am a former coach to two Paralympic gold medal winning athletes. My personal interests include; charity work, reading, riding my bike and anything that’s funny.”
Hannah Powell, Business Support Officer
“I have been involved in Weightlifting since 2004, where I began lifting aged 11. I am an active Weightlifter and recently competed for Wales at the Commonwealth Games and have competed at a senior international level for GB. Weightlifting is a sport that I love, it is a huge part of my life and I am extremely passionate about it both as an athlete and also as a member of staff. I have been working for Weightlifting Wales since mid 2017, just after graduating from university. My role with WW is to support the business aspects of the NGB, which has given me great insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a sport to create opportunities and offer support to athletes, as well as involving the wider community in the sport.”
Jo Calvino, Coach Education Manager
“I started weightlifting in 1993 as a young girl and fell in love with a sport that has allowed me to compete to the highest level for both Great Britain and England, competing at 4 Commonwealth Games, World Championship and European Championships and claiming 21 British Senior titles. With a passion for sport development I successfully built a career within the ASA/British Diving, not only developing the sport of Diving but assisting with the talent & development pathways for clubs, coaches and athletes and implementing education programmes to support and nurture all involved on a National level, whilst becoming a tutor across the sports of Swimming, Diving & Weightlifting. I later went onto be the lead in implementing a community to performance Diving programme at the Olympic Pool in London and following on from this working as the Diving Competition Manager for the European Aquatics Championships in London in 2016.My role at Weightlifting Wales is to support the strategy and performance pathways by building and creating opportunities to develop both athlete, coach & officials education programmes through courses, workshops and CPD opportunities.”
Justin Head, Competition Manager and South West Regional Development Officer
“I started Weightlifting at the age of 14, becoming Welsh and British Champion plus representing Wales internationally. I still lift as a Master and have been involved in Weightlifting for over 30 years. As Competition Manager, I currently organise and run five events for Weightlifting Wales: Welsh Age groups, Gemau Cymru, Welsh Open, Welsh Seniors and Welsh Masters Open. As a Regional Development Officer (RDO), I cover the area in the South West up as far North as Aberystwyth and to the East as far as Llanelli, which includes my Cluster Clubs. As an RDO I organise Cluster Competitions for these clubs, plus training days to help improve general technique for lifting.”
Christie-Marie Williams, South East Regional Development Officer
“I am an enthusiastic and happy individual that loves the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. My career started at 17 years old as a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. I have been involved in the Health and Fitness Industry for the best part of 8 years, working with various ages and abilities. Being a late starter, I took up the sport of Weightlifting at 20 years old and decided to become a coach at 21 years old during this time I have coached at National and International Level both for Wales and GB. I am currently studying BSc Strength and Conditioning at University of South Wales, I then hope to further my knowledge by undergoing a Masters. I am a two-time Commonwealth Games Athlete, competing at Glasgow 2014 placing 10th and Gold Coast 2018 placing 7th. I have achieved many International medals as a Junior and Senior. Prior to Weightlifting I spent 10 years competing in Athletics, where I achieved International Honours from U11 through to Senior.”
Calum Stronach, North East Regional Development Officer
I began Weightlifting at the age of 16 to support my rugby training and have competed in a number of competitions. After obtaining my degree in Sport & Exercise Science I worked in strength and conditioning within professional rugby and Welsh athletics. Following this I set up the NW1 Weightlifting club in North Wales. Running for 6 years, we now have over 50 active Olympic Weightlifters, ranging from 6 years old to senior level. The NW1 Weightlifting club has multiple National and Commonwealth level athletes and medals. As Regional Development officer I cover North Wales and offer support in club development, coaching and programming assistance.