The Scottish Senior Championships and the Perth Open roared into Bells Sports Centre on Sunday, 25 June.
Long revered as Scotland’s premiere equipped Championships, the Seniors allows Scottish powerlifters to compete for the prestigious Ron Conley trophy and was enough to tempt out a battle between two of our greatest equipped lifters, Rab Love and Stuart Crichton, on the men’s side and to see Shelly Tipling brave her first equipped comp only to walk away with her first Best Lifter trophy against strong competition from Alice Hogg, competing unequipped but still coming in a strong second place, and the formidable Moir sisters.
From the ref’s chair, some of my highlights were Rab’s fantastic final deadlift at 280kg to take the Scottish record and the absolute delight on Shelly Tipling’s face on picking up the 72kg open record on bench press. For someone who has only been training in kit for a few weeks, getting even one good lift in was a triumph… let alone taking two records and Best Female Lifter.
On the other side of the competition, a great mix of new faces and old hands made for an exciting day. It was great to see Ruth Pottinger venture down from Orkney to set a qualifying total for British and then walk away with the Classic squat record in the 72kg class and Best Female Lifter of the Open competition.
Some exceedingly strong debuts were made including Alex Thomson in the 93s, who walked away with a 637.5kg total in the 93s, and Scott McAlpine of Raw Anatomy who took Best Lifter in the Open competition in his very first competition with a stonking 700kg total and 420.30 Wilks! Turns out the two already knew each other too!
It wasn’t just the Moir sisters keeping it in the family, though. Long-term Scottish Powerlifting member Stephen O’Donnell was joined on the platform by his son, Shea, and Jaimee-Lee Bowles not only came back on good form in the sub-junior 57kg class but was joined by her mum, Elena, for a great performance in the 84kg class.
The competitions almost didn’t happen, though, as just a few days out we had only one volunteer to spot and load. Thankfully, a wonderful crew stepped in to look after the lifters on the platform with Alison MacKenzie, Rachel Steedman, Matthew Gill, Phil Burge, Bernie McGurk, Nicola Harcus, Tom Crawford and Shaun Clarkin all taking their turn on the platform with help from Willie Rodgers when the big boys were lifting. Not to forget Marlene Mathieson, Beth Chinchen, Ian and Cathy MacAslan, Roisin Meehan on the table, and William Brown stepping in to both run the competition and emcee in the absence of Competition Secretary – John Soulsby.
Finally, thanks to my fellow referees: Alex Mathieson, Ali Donaldson, Laura Munro and Sophie Barringer (and I hope you thank me, Rowan Hendry-Horne).
A special additional note to Caroline Hogg and Annette Rankine who faced every powerlifter’s worst nightmare in their first comp and soldiered on regardless. Hope to see you back on the platform soon, ladies!