by Wes McGuinness
I began my career in Powerlifting in 2011, winning numerous Royal Navy Powerlifting Championships in my first few years in the sport; and representing the RN five times at the UKAF Championships.
In 2016 I decided to join the highest level of powerlifting in the UK, the Great Britain Powerlifting Federation (GBPF) now known as British Powerlifting. I have won four South West Divisional Championships and set Divisional records. After my first year competing with British Powerlifting, I was the first person within our Armed Forces to be selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Potchefstroom, South Africa in 2017, coming away with two silver medals and a bronze medal. After my performance in South Africa, I was nominated for Royal Navy Sportsman of the year 2017.
On returning from a lengthy deployment in 2019 I was extremely keen to get back into training, later that year I entered my first British Powerlifting Bench Press Championships, where I secured a bronze medal, resulting me being selected to represent Great Britain at the Arnolds Sports Festival Championships held in Barcelona, Spain 2019.
I was then deployed for the majority of 2020. Despite COVID-19 limitations and the exceptionally hard times over the last 24 months, with all gym facilities closed due to the pandemic, my experience in strength and conditioning and with a little creativity, which was of great significance during this time, I was using weighted rucksacks, old tyres, pull ups on old signposts until the gyms reopened. I used every opportunity to continue training and build up that foundation of strength and give me that advantage position going into 2021.
Since the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, and powerlifting events have been able to go ahead, I competed at the British Bench Press Championships 2021. I improved from my performance in 2019, Securing a Silver medal opened up opportunities of International selection. I was later selected to represent GBR at the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Bench Press Championships 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania.
With over a decade of powerlifting experience, I have focus, enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to my sport. Helping organise Powerlifting at a grassroots level, workshops and seminars to pass on my wealth of knowledge and experience gained over the years therefore hoping to encourage and inspire the next generation of Sailors and Submariners to have the confidence to become the next ambassadors of the sport. Encompassing all the true Naval Core Values, I have persevered during these difficult times, and I continue to fly the flag and I am extremely proud of representing the Royal Navy at the highest level of powerlifting within the UK.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chief Executive Officer of British Powerlifting, Mr Richard Parker for the support he continuously shows towards myself and my team.
I am now only one of three Service Personnel to enrol on the Royal Navy’s Elite Athletes Scheme from March 2022.