Dan’s delight as he lifts world title

Coach Fred Mackenzie with champion weightlifter Dan Sherman.
Coach Fred Mackenzie with champion weightlifter Dan Sherman.

A teenage weightlifter has been crowned Junior World Powerlifting Champion, becoming the first British athlete to take the title.

Daniel Sherman, from Blyth, took the decisive victory in the 74kg division at the World Powerlifting Championships in Szczyrk, Poland.

The 18-year-old benched 142.5kg and deadlifted 245kg, as well as a squat of 252.5kg, winning three medals on his way to the title.

Now he is focussed on success at the British Championships at the end of October.

Dan, who is studying TyneMet’s partnership course with Active Northumberland at Concordia Leisure Centre, trains with Parkhead Powersports Club, at the Hirst Welfare Centre, in Ashington.

He received financial backing from the Blyth Valley Trust for Youth and Active Northumberland.

Fred MacKenzie, Chair and Senior Coach of Parkhead & Wansbeck Powersports Club, said: “I had a feeling Dan would do well because he’s been training four or five times a week and was in top form leading up to the event.

“We’ve had a lot of success at this club and produced 59 British Champions but Dan is our first World Champion and the only British athlete to have won it. He’s only been training for two years but he’s very disciplined and he takes nothing for granted, he just comes in and gets on with it.”

Dan said: “I’ve been powerlifting for just over two years. Getting involved with the club and meeting Fred was a turning point. He’s an excellent coach and the guru of the team, as well as my mentor.”

“His experience is everything and you learn so much, but he doesn’t hold back in his criticism either. I couldn’t have achieved this without Fred.”

Dan’s title victory was secured in a nail-biting finish, which came down to the final lift.

“I was buzzing; completely overwhelmed. We started celebrating immediately. But I’m back in the gym now, and my next goal is to win the British Championships. I just need to keep training the same way and make sure everything goes right on the day.”

Lee Paris, Community Sport Manager for Active Northumberland, said: “On behalf of Blyth Valley Trust for Youth and Active Northumberland, I am delighted to hear of Dan’s recent success.

“I am really pleased we were able to provide a Gilbert Barker Award to help Dan on his way to becoming a world champion, he is one of 16 young people who have received an award in 2016.

“We will be looking to provide awards next year which will be made available in May 2017. I would urge anyone from Blyth Valley who meets the criteria to get in touch as we may be able to help, I would also encourage anyone interested in becoming a trustee to come forward.”

Further details on the Gilbert Barker Awards are available by contacting Lee Paris Community Sports Manager at Active Northumberland on 01670 622 177 or lparis@activenorthumberland.org.uk.