Brisbane athlete Tim Roberts will be one of four Australians to compete in the LGBT International Powerlifting Championships in London later this month.
Roberts (pictured), an art historian, said he accidentally discovered the sport of powerlifting in 2014 and has been training since then at a gym in Fortitude Valley.
“I’d been training there for about a year doing personal training and my coach and a friend said to me one day I was going to be entered into an in-house ‘personal best’ competition to test our strength,” he said.
“On that day I think I did a deadlift that was double my body weight. That’s when we started taking it a bit more seriously.”
Powerlifting is a sport that involves three different lifts using core strength: the deadlift, the squat and the bench press.
For the last two years Roberts has competed at Council of Australian Powerlifting Organisations competitions and holds powerlifting records in the 56kg and 60kg weight divisions.
Roberts will travel to London next week to join three other Australian athletes and athletes from as many as nine other countries at the second annual competition, held on July 28 at the Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club in London.
“The training is five days a week, so it is a commitment, and the training sessions are between two and four hours in length, depending on the day,” he said.
“I’m so excited to travel to London and meet other LGBT powerlifters from around the world.”
The 2017 LGBT International Powerlifting Championships attracted participants from nine nations, including Australia, Belarus, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, United States of America and this year’s host nation Great Britain.
Organisers say the competitions offers the chance for participants to meet, socialise and interact with other LGBTIQ athletes, something they may rarely get the opportunity to do in mainstream competitions in their home countries.