Howick ‘girly girl’ is also UK’s strongest

2012-02-04 00:00

POWERLIFTING and weightlifting are usually the preserve of the East European and former Soviet bloc countries, whose barrel-chested patriots of both sexes clean-jerked their way on to Olympic podiums.

Petite, blue-eyed Bronwyn Taylor (16), a former Howick Preparatory pupil, has now seriously dented the strongman image by becoming Britain’s strongest schoolgirl.

Taylor earned the title when she broke three British records in the Commonwealth Powerlifting Federation Championships in the under-18 category. She lifted an overall weight of 247,5kg, which consisted of a 50kg bench press, a 125kg dead-lift and a 72,5kg squat lift.

Florence, Bronwyn’s mother, said that even with the mantle of the British Isles’ strongest schoolgirl, her daughter’s feet are firmly on the ground, and education is still her main focus.

Between lifting twice her body weight and carrying furniture at her dad’s removal company, Bronwyn studies hairdressing at Inverness College. She aims to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games, taking on the East European athletes who dominate the weightlifting events.

She said powerlifting and Olympic lifting were different, but she could make the necessary changes to adjust to the sport.

“The East Europeans have weightlifting schools where they spend basically a school day, every day, lifting weights with full-time professional coaches. I train with my dad, who is not a coach but still good.

“My strength is increasing every day and although my training methods are different from theirs, I just see it as competing against another girl my same age and weight. I hope that the transition to Olympic-style lifting will be easy enough,” added Bronwyn.

Female powerlifters are usually seen as the stocky mould, just like their male counterparts, but Florence says Bronwyn looks feminine.

Bronwyn said she had to carry a newspaper article around to convince boys that she competes at such a high level.

Her best friend in Howick, Bronwyn Wishart, said could not believe it when she first heard about Brownwyn’s powerlifting exploits, especially after being a late starter and being a “girly girl”.

“She has only done it for a year or so and now she is dominating everybody in her category.

“She was a girly girl who never played around with heavy objects, so I was quite surprised to find out about the powerlifting, but I am very proud of her,” said Wishart.

• khanyiso.tswaku@sa.24.com

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