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Council staff throw weight behind colleague’s bid to become world bench-press champion


SUPPORT:Wendie’s dad and trainer, David, Wendie, Deputy Leader Cllr Michael Payne and Leader Cllr John Clarke
SUPPORT: Wendie’s dad and trainer, David, Wendie Kirkland, Deputy Leader Cllr Michael Payne and Leader Cllr John Clarke

Staff at Gedling Borough Council have thrown their weight behind a colleague’s bid to become world bench-press champion by helping fund her trip to a tournament later this month.

Wendie Kirkland will be competing in the World Women’s RAW Bench Press Championships for Great Britain during the contest from 15-21 May.

The Service Support Officer for Housing Services will be miles away from her day job at Gedling Borough Council as she travels to Potchefstroom, South Africa, at the end of this week to compete for Team GB.

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Wendie, 43, has been raising funds to pay for her trip by running a raffle at work and has also received a donation from Gedling Borough Councillors, who donated £200 from the County Councillors funding pot.

She first started bench-pressing 22 years ago since began competing in 1994.

Wendy trains locally at the council’s Redhill Leisure Centre with her dad, who still trains at the age of 73.

As a working single mum, Wendie can only fit in one training session a week, but that hasn’t held her back. She competed in the 2014 World Masters Women’s Bench Press Championships, 2015 European Masters Women’s Bench Press Championships and can lift up to 75kg (12 stone) unequipped.

Wendie is one of 11 women representing Team GB in Potchefstroom and will be competing against six other athletes in her Masters 1 category.

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Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said; “I’m really pleased we can support Wendie in competing for Team GB in her sport. We wish her the best of luck and are proud of her achievement.”

Ahead of the trip Wendie said; “I am apprehensive about going as it is difficult with family commitments to put things in place for my daughter while I am away, but this is a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which I didn’t want to miss.

“I have been competing in powerlifting since the age of 22 and what was at first a hobby, has turned into something that has changed my life. I’ve managed to see parts of the world I wouldn’t have necessarily seen.

“It’s a privilege for me to be going and representing Team GB and I am grateful to my family, friends and colleagues, who have supported me in order to be able to do this. Even if I don’t come back with a medal, as long as I do my best that’s all I can ask of myself.”

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