Holly Knowles muscles her way to success

Reporter:

Patrick Glover

Back to back championship titles is a real achievment for any sportsperson made more remarkable by the fact they only took up the sport three years ago.

Holly Knowles is understandably proud of her under 23 weightlifting titles and loves her sport, so much so she would push through the pain of constant sickness caused by scarring of the lungs to take part in athletics as a child.

It is this passion that led the Penrhyn Bay sportswoman to her success, and reduction in illness, after falling into the sport while training for athletics.

“It was completely by accident, I always loved sport when I was little so I was a member of the Colwyn Bay Athletics Club.

“One year we did winter conditioning based around crossfit, so I started doing that more because I really enjoyed it.

“I then taught myself the olympic lift from YouTube videos.”

Her boyfriend obviously saw her passion for weightlifting and entered her into a friendly competition at her gym where she caught the eye of her now coach, Calum Stronach.

She has since moved up weight divisions at regular intervals and now boasts a host of national titles.

In 2017 alone she came first in the Welsh Championships – 63kg weight division – and British under 23 championships – 69kg weight division and second in the British University Championships – 63kg A class.

Knowles also competed in her first ever senior event this year coming seventh in the British Senior Championships in the 63km division and narrowly missing a spot for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.

She has just returned from the Celtic Nations Championships, representing Wales and completing a personal best while at the event.

“It is the highest national championships I have done and to finish inside the top 10 in Great Britain.

“Then the British under 23s was my first competition at 69kgs so it was quite intense because I didn’t know what to expect.

“But I’m settling into my weight class and was pleased with the outcome.”

She has her eyes set on the world junior championships next year and the Commonwealth Games.

In the meantime, she is studying strength and conditioning at university in York, around her around eight training sessions a week.

Father, Kevin Knowles, said: “She has been truely amazing and has worked really really hard.

“We are totally proud of everything she does.”

Holly hopes more female athletes take up the sport in the coming years, adding: “Don’t be scared, just jump into it, if it’s what you want to do.”

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