A Doncaster powerlifter is muscling in with the world’s best after he finished third in a major international competition.
Gary Lovett, aged 42, took part in the World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation’s World Championships in Wrexham and managed a personal best lift of 132.5kilos.
The bricklayer, who lives in Barnby Dun man with his wife Jane and two teenage daughters, said: “I only took up powerlifting four years ago but have really taken to it and been really pleased with my progress, especially this recent success.
“I was initially delighted to win my regional competition at the end of last year which meant I qualified for the nationals.
“I went on to win that which secured my place at the world championships and I couldn’t really ask for more to go there and get third place with a personal best score.”
Gary was selected to be part of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust’s Talented Athlete Support Scheme in 2014 and since then has enjoyed free access to DCLT’s facilities in the town.
The TASS scheme was introduced by DCLT in 2012 in a bid to support Doncaster athletes who represent Great Britain at national or international level.
He added: “I just want to say thank you to DCLT for all their support as I use a number of their venues including Adwick, Thorne and the Keepmoat, not only to help with my weight training but also for my cardiovascular work in the swimming pool.
“I train at least three or four times a week so to have easy access to the facilities across the town is such a benefit.
“I am now looking to repeat what I have done over the last 12 months but go one step further and try and win the worlds.
“I am going to go down a weight category or two because I think that will make me more competitive but I really hope I can get into top shape and go all the way next year.”
He also paid tribute to his coach Alan Twigg from the Doncaster Powerlifting Club, who he said has been “an immense support to me.”
Gary added: “For me power lifting is a great way to escape the stresses of life.
“It gives me something to focus my mind on and it is a great sport because it is open to all. No matter what weight, gender or age you are there is a category to suit so I really would encourage people to give it a go.”
Jon Whiteley, head of community development at DCLT, said: “Gary has done extremely well and is really flying the flag for Doncaster in the world of powerlifting.
“We are delighted he continues on our TASS scheme and that we have been able to contribute to his recent success. We wish him all the best with his next goal to become world champion.”