Cardinal Pole looking for weightlifting glory at London Youth Games

East London's Cardinal Pole Catholic School are looking to build on last years weightlifting second place at the London Youth Games with victory in this years competition

East London's Cardinal Pole Catholic School are looking to build on last years weightlifting second place at the London Youth Games with victory in this years competition.

In March, 16-year-old students Kim Pham (58kg girls) and Omarie Mearns (69kg boys) struck gold at the British Schools Championships in Oldbury.

Pham was also awarded the "newcomer of the year" award at the championships.

Alongside school friends Rita Natembo, Delyce Joseph-Albert and Soji Akinawo they form a squad that is one of the strongest in London weightlifting. None of the five had taken part in extra-curricular sport prior to their introduction to weightlifting.


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PE teacher Shaun Purcell said: "They have made some massive improvements, from people who have just been starting out to now be competing at national standard level and achieving top three places at championships. That has been through hard work, dedication and training twice a week.

"Competitions like the London Youth Games are essential for them. Otherwise they just get stale and bored and ask 'what have we been training for?' Being involved in weightlifting has also helped their academic work, I believe.

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"It has given them that sense of discipline and organisation that you need to achieve."

Pham said: "I started about a year ago and we had nothing to do after school. But we knew there was a weightlifting trial at school coming up, so we had a go to see what it was all about and now, it's serious.

"I've made a lot of progress. My techniques been improving and the weights are going up.

It's great when I get a new personal best and my coach praises me.

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