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University Hosts Irish Weightlifting Championships

6 May 2011

The Irish Senior Weightlifting Championships is coming to Northern Ireland with the competition taking place at the University of Ulster this weekend.

On Saturday 7 May and Sunday 8 May, over 25 of Ireland’s top competitors will come to Ulster’s Jordanstown campus to take part in what is one of the key events on the national calendar.
The elite event will see men and women compete in up to 15 categories in a competition that can be the stepping-stone to a place on the Ireland national team for international representation.
Dr Nigel Dobson, Co-Director of the Ulster Sports Academy, said: “The University is delighted to be hosting an event of such prestige in Irish weightlifting and the prospect of being the venue to host the competition on its first visit to Ulster is a great honour. We are hoping that the championships will be a memorable one for all of the competitors travelling from all over the country.
“The University of Ulster is striving to become the leading university for sport on the island of Ireland and welcoming weightlifting to the campus shows the commitment to our vision of community engagement and developing national links in all types of sports.”
Harry Leech, President of Weightlifting Ireland, said: "Weightlifting Ireland are delighted to be holding the Irish Senior Weightlifting Championships in Belfast for the first time in decades. The facility at University of Ulster's Jordanstown campus is truly world class and without a doubt the best weightlifting facility on the island.

“We believe that it will be our biggest and best Irish Senior Weightlifting Championships to date and we hope that as many people as possible will come along to see Ireland's strongest men and women compete against themselves, each other, and of course gravity.”

The event is set to see some tough competition with Cathal Byrd and Kevin D’Arcy fighting it out for Ireland’s number one ranking in the senior competition and Neil Dougan will be hoping to set new Ulster records and potentially qualify for the World Championships.

In the Junior section, Clarence Kennedy who is taking Irish weightlifting by storm with ever bigger lifting, will feature at the Jordanstown campus.

Neil Dougan, a graduate of the University of Ulster, and one of Ireland's highest ranked Senior international competitors is the Ulster representative of Weightlifting Ireland. He said: “It’s fantastic that we can have the National Championships at the university. The staff and support I received while i was studying helped me to train harder and earn my place on the international squad. Without them I would never have achieved a top 10 finish at the European championships.

“The venue itself is top class. I have no doubt the whole team will really enjoy the experience and look to host even bigger competitions here in the future.”

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