3 November 2020

WW welcomes a new academy

A collaborative venture between Coleg Sir Gâr and Llanelli Weightlifting Club has resulted in a new weightlifting academy which has been accredited by Weightlifting Wales.

Working together to meet specified criteria has resulted in the academy being awarded this status.

Based at the college’s Graig campus, the newly-formed Coleg Sir Gâr Llanelli Weightlifting Academy will soon be welcoming members.

A grant has been used to refurbish an already working weights room at the college to world-class competition standard, this includes brand new equipment such as bars, plates and platform flooring.

The partnership brings together high-end weightlifting coaching and new facilities for college students and club members.

Coleg Sir Gâr sports lecturer Stephen Williams has been leading the facility development at the college which has the backing of Weightlifting Wales who together hope to develop the academy as a future centre of excellence.

Stephen Williams said: “Receiving accredited status by Weightlifting Wales was crucial as it comes with its own areas of eligibility that both the college and the club could reach together.

“This means that the club can also train those who opt to compete to competition level but it will also provide an accredited umbrella for everyone training there.

“The facility will also provide opportunities for our sports degree students to volunteer and to gain specialist coaching certificates.”

Matthew De Filippo, chairperson of the academy said: “The partnership allows us to deliver a community-based initiative that is inclusive and accessible to all.

“We strongly believe in the importance of a holistic approach in developing each individual’s physical, mental, and social well-being.

“From age grade to master athletes, our coaches are highly qualified and experienced to develop each individual’s potential and many of our athletes have gone on to compete nationally with some representing Wales and Great Britain internationally.

“We aim to assist, not only recreational and competitive lifters, but also athletes from other sports looking to improve their technique and athleticism.”

Simon Roach, strategy and development manager at Weightlifting Wales added: “As Weightlifting Wales implements its new strategy to grow and strengthen the sport in Wales, the academy creates an exciting partnership securing a top-class facility for elite level training, pathway development and talent identification.

“Merging an already successful weightlifting club with Coleg Sir Gâr provides the local community and students with an opportunity to work with extremely well qualified and experienced staff and the centre will play a key part in the National Governing Bodies structure and pathway for athletes.”

Rob Baynham, sports coordinator for ColegauCymru (CollegesWales) added: “This new development is a great example of collaboration between the college, club and national governing body in creating a new strand of academy provision.

“Weightlifting has enjoyed a resurgence over the past few years and the academy will create new coaches and leaders to support this growth, encouraging wider participation in the sport.”