A Northern Regional Youth Series competition for young British Weightlifters will be taking place at Barton Athletic Club on Saturday 13th October.

The event, which will involve the best young weightlifters aged between 11 and 15, is a tier three event classed as a ‘Ranking Event’. This will allow competitors to move up to ‘Home Nation Championship’ and ‘British Championship’ events in the future.

Barton Athletic Club, which received £500,000 worth of Lottery Investment in 2016 to add a variety of facilities has finally found permanent residence in Salford.

John Lightfoot, treasurer of Barton AC, spoke about the weekend’s event explaining that ‘the top competitors’ will be involved on Saturday.

“We’ve not got a final entry number yet but it will be about 30 as it normally is for championships and they are top juniors.”

When asked about how important these opportunities are, Mr. Lightfoot explained how carefully monitored young competitors are.

“Sometimes we get kids as young as eight or nine competing which is obviously closely monitored.” Lightfoot also explained that half of the grading is based on technique, so it is not all about the raw strength.

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The youngest competitors will be beginning with 10-kilogram weights, whereas the older competitors will be ‘lifting their own weight’.

“We have another competition coming up in November as well as more throughout the North, creating some kind of a circuit.”

Mr. Lightfoot has been involved with Barton AC since the inception in 1953, meaning he has 65 years of experience at the club.

When I asked him about the evolution of weightlifting since that time, the committee member said it hasn’t really changed.


“Similar to what it was, weightlifitng has always been a minority sport which gets passed down through the family who are already involved in it.”

Local schools are being encouraged to attend with up to 60 pupils a week being able to get a taste of wrestling, boxing among other activities.

“It is growing, we just want people who are unsure about it to feel in control when they take part.”

Barton AC is located on  37 Franklin Street Eccles Manchester M30 0GY and Saturdays competition is open for attendance.

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