Powerlifting Cumbrian mum raising money to compete at World Championships

A Cumbrian mum is hoping to raise thousands of pounds so that she can compete in the powerlifting World Championships in Canada.

Sharon Holmes from Carlisle was recently selected to compete for Great Britain after winning the British Masters under 63kg class.

As powerlifting is not an Olympic sport, it has to be entirely self-funded.

The 50-year-old has already raised £1,000 to get to the World Classic Powerlifting competition in October, but is looking for more support.

"The cost of Canada is probably going to be around £2,000" said Ms Holmes. "Obviously there's flights, your normal travelling costs and then there's the costs to us as athletes like anti-doping fees and participation fees.

She added: "I set up a GoFundMe page never thinking that I would get anything because you're asking people to invest in you."

Instead she has been "shocked and blown away" by the amount donated especially because of the current cost of living crisis.

Sharon Holmes has been competing in powerlifting competitions since 2016, and has won numerous events in her age category. Credit: ITV Border

Ms Holmes only got into powerlifting when she was 40 and was worried about health conditions like diabetes.

As a result Ms Holmes joined a gym and found particular enjoyment in weights and strength training.

Soon she began to work with Carlisle trainer Jimmy Nsouli who specialises in powerlifting, and she was initially the only woman at the club.

She said: "We did get some more girls involved and Jimmy encouraged us all to compete."

Since her first regional competition in Carlisle in 2016 Ms Holmes now has a number of trophies under her belt.

She has won multiple national and regional competitions, including the British Masters which resulted in her selection for Team GB for the World Championships in Canada.

For Ms Holmes it shows anyone can get involved in the sport. She said: "You don't have to be a certain way, a certain height, a certain shape or size."

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