Weightlifter of the Year

Deborah Alawode from Phoenix won best female lifter with 207.2488 Sinclair points


Deborah Alawode


How did you start?

In May/June 2013, Kaz came to my school to do a 6-week taster course in Weightlifting. After the course, he invited me to compete at the club competition held in Gurnell Grove Community Centre. The competition was really fun and had a very relaxed atmosphere. Following this, Kaz asked me to continue training at the club with him regularly, but at the time, I had a lot of commitments, both in terms of my education (I was about to go into Year 11 so felt I needed to focus on my GCSE exams) and in my extra-curricular activities, so I decided to not continue weightlifting. The following Summer (2014), I received an email from Kaz asking if I’d be able to compete at London Youth Games (LYG), as he was a female lifter short for Team Ealing. Since I had finished my exams, and I missed competing in LYG (I competed for Team Ealing in Netball from 2010-2012), I decided to accept Kaz’s offer. Despite being thrown in at the deep end having not touched a bar for 1 year, I really enjoyed the experience. I’ve been training regular since then.


What are your other activities and achievements?

Outside of weightlifting, I regularly do ballet, and play the violin. Last year I also played in my uni’s netball team, however I had to stop this year to make room for the increased demand of second year. I’ve been doing ballet since I was 6 years old, and violin since I was 7, so I can’t imagine not doing either! Throughout primary and high school, I competed regularly in athletics, my main events being 100m, 4x100m relay and shot putt. I was also very good at 400m, long jump and triple jump, but never competed in any of them. From Year 7-11, I was borough champion in shot putt and my team won the borough women’s 4x100m relay a number of times. However, I had to stop athletics when I began my A-levels so I could focus more on my studies. During high school, I played in every female sports team my school offered, including rugby, football and rounders. I also played in every orchestra and ensemble I could play in as a violinist, including playing lead 1st violinist in our Symphonic orchestra and String ensemble, and playing 1st violin in our String Quartet. I’ve completed Grade 8 in ballet, and am currently teaching myself Grade 7 in violin. In addition, I reached Grade 6 in piano.


What are you doing now?

At the moment, I am in the 2nd year of my Medical degree at UCL. The workload is definitely challenging, but it is enjoyable nonetheless. I train 3-4 mornings per week before my lectures start to ensure training doesn’t use the time I should be spending to study, but also to ensure I continue to progress in the sport. Having achieved my Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Weightlifting last Summer, I have been coaching regular weightlifting sessions for the UCL Barbell club with Louise since the beginning of this academic year.


What are your plans and dreams for the future?

Weightlifting-wise, I hope to become British Universities and Colleges Champion. I came a very close 2nd last year, but I’ve still got another 4.5 years left of uni so I’m not short of opportunities to achieve the Gold! In addition, I hope to win the British U23s Championships this year, following my Gold in the U20s Championships in September, and complete my Level 2 certificate in Coaching Weightlifting at some point during the Summer holidays. As I progress through my time at uni, I hope to have the opportunity to compete for Great Britain at the World University Games, and eventually medal at the British Seniors Championships