31 Dec 2017 A fantastic year
On behalf of Weightlifting Wales board and staff, we wish you a Happy New Year. Weightlifting Wales truly values the hard work by all involved in Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting, especially the lifters, club coaches, affiliated clubs, officials, volunteers and parents.
2017 has been a fantastic year, the sport in Wales continues to make excellent progress. There has been a record number of members and affiliated clubs. Domestic competitions have been extremely well attended. A very healthy number of entries at the various British events has brought home a record number of medals.
The NGB has continued to invest in the talented and developing lifters across Wales, sending lifters to International events to gain experience and to secure the benefits from competing as part of a team at an International event. This year, performances at both the Junior Battle, Austria and the Celtic Championships, Edinburgh were outstanding. The performance team have been impressed with the rate of improvement and composure of the developing and talented lifters.
A new pathway has been piloted throughout South Wales, creating 3 tiers for lifters to progress through. This new structure will be built upon throughout 2018, with the aim to support developing lifters progression towards future medal winning performances.
In September, at the Commonwealth Championships, Gold Coast, medal winning was of great focus. Newly recruited crossfit athlete Laura Hughes won a Senior Gold medal and in the Junior age category Team mates Catrin Jones gained Silver and Jordan Sakkas Bronze.
Both Ellie Pryor and Jordan Sakkas competed for Great Britain at European Championships, both funded via Weightlifting Wales.
Catrin Jones, one of Wales most promising Junior lifters won the Carwyn James Young Welsh Sportswoman of the year Award.
The NGB has made outstanding progress in developing the Para Powerlifting programme. A key focus this year, was to educate coaches and officials, develop facilities in Wales which cater for Powerlifting, Investing in the competition structure, entering athletes into qualifying World Cup events to achieve Commonwealth Games ranking; but most of all, begin to create an inclusive programme of both Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting.
This year Para Powerlifting athletes have competed at two World Cup events, the Welsh Open and the British Championships. The pathway, including cluster, talent and Welsh squads have become more inclusive.
Work continues with our partner, Bangor University. The completion to the newly refurbished performance training facility has been of great benefit to our athletes. Bangor University now presents a fantastic venue for competitions. The National Talent ID KESS II project continues to progress and gain pace.
Weightlifting Wales board has been extremely busy throughout the year, great strides have been made in reviewing and developing governance and self-assurance arrangements. Key development areas have included finance, equality, safeguarding, In-Sport inclusiveness, governance and leadership framework.
In 2018, the board will continue its successful journey and will evolve further. In the next stage of the boards development, focus will deepen relationships with stakeholders and secure yet higher levels of engagement.
The board is thankful for the support from its main funding provider Sport Wales and also grateful from the continued support from Team Wales and Bangor University.
Last but not least. In December, Team Wales announced the Commonwealth Games team, possibly the largest individual sport to represent Team Wales and the largest ever team nominated by the Weightlifting Wales. 13 Weightlifting athletes and 3 Para Powerlifting athletes. Also selected Stephen Donovan representing Wales as Technical Official.
In conclusion, Weightlifting Wales is going from strength to strength, enjoying increasing levels of participation in the community, as well as performance success at elite level. We wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to working with you throughout 2018.
Please join us on Sunday 21st January at the Welsh Senior Championships, held at WIS, Cardiff, as the Weightlifting and Para Powerlifting Commonwealth Games team compete in their final event leading to Gold Coast.