Inverness Leisure centre has hosted weightlifters training for the Commonwealth Games this summer.
The High Life Highland facility welcomed three members of Team Scotland to use the strength and conditioning room, gym and sauna over the weekend to prepare ahead of the Games in Birmingham in July.
Representing Team Scotland in weightlifting are Alice Aitchison, Agata Herbert, Jodey Hughes, Craig Carfray and Jason Epton.
The trio of Jodey, Agata and Jason were joined by General Secretary for Weightlifting Scotland Colin Hannah in preparations.
The sport is close to the heart of High Life Highland Chief Executive Steve Walsh who is also Chairman and coach at the Highland Weightlifting Club and came in first place at the Weightlifting-Scottish Masters in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Steve Walsh said:
“We were absolutely delighted to be able to provide our state-of-the-art facilities to Team Scotland over the weekend.
“It’s fantastic that we have the equipment and facilities that can allow training for the Commonwealth Games right here in Inverness.
“High Life Highland is committed to supporting local athletes and we work closely with sportscotland to provide free access to athletes and more recently supporting young athletes with our Highland Athlete Travel Award Scheme to ensure their location isn’t a barrier to success.
“Weightlifting is an exciting sport to watch and I’m sure everyone will get behind them when they take to the platform this summer.”
Jodey Hughes from East Kilbride returns to the Team Scotland squad having made her Commonwealth Games debut at Gold Coast 2018 placing 9th in the 58kg category.
She took silver in the 55kg event at the British Championships earlier this year and is aiming for medal success in the same category at this summer’s Games.
Jodey will be joined in Birmingham by Agata, originally from Poland but now calls Edinburgh home, in the 76kg and Jason, who represented Team Scotland at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games and will be competing in his first senior Games in the 81kg category.
Jodey Hughes said:
“I’ve dreamed about competing in the Commonwealth Games and to have achieved this goal and to go to my second Games feels surreal.
“The competition is going to be amazing and to be able to train here in Inverness and use some world-class equipment to prepare is amazing.
“Often its tricky to find a place with all the equipment that you need for weightlifting so I’ll be keeping HLH’s Inverness Leisure in mind for future if I need to use facilities when in the area.”
Agata Herbert said:
“Having lived in Inverness some time ago, its great to see such an improvement in the facilities here since my last visit.”
Jason Epton said:
“Its great to have an opportunity to have a training camp with the team and to feel the sense of community in the Highland Weightlifting Club here – we’ve had such a warm welcome from everyone!
“We will definitely be back.
“I am honoured to represent Scotland at the Games and I am absolutely buzzing to get the chance to be on that platform and do my country proud.”
Highland Weightlifting Club (HWC) Head Coach, HLH S&C Coach and Scottish Senior Silver medallist, Nicki Grant, will be attending the Scottish team training camps this month.
“It is fantastic to have the Scotland Squad training in Inverness to make use of the great new facilities at Inverness Leisure.
I’d encourage anyone looking to try out the sport to come along to the weightlifting classes at Inverness Leisure Centre where we coach ages 11+ and welcome all abilities.
“Inverness Leisure will also host the first Northern Districts Weightlifting event on Saturday 9 July 2022.
“A first for the sport and the Highlands, this event reflects the hard work already put into developing the sport here in Inverness.
“We hope to encourage many spectators to come down and watch our fantastic sport in action and inspire future weightlifters to take up the sport!
“We will also soon be able to officially announce some exciting news for Highland Weightlifting Club, whereby I hope to be part of a fantastic development programme supported by sportscotland.
“It will be a huge boost for the club and will drive our youth development which we hope to focus on after the predicted success of the games!”
Inverness Leisure offers numerous weightlifting classes including Olympic lifting for youths and adults, beginners weightlifting and classes for teens.
Weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games will take place at the NEC Precinct in Birmingham between July 30 and August 3.