Sarah Davies

Further Personal Information
Residence
Leeds, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
English
Higher education
Physical Education - Leeds Metropolitan University: England
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began weightlifting in 2011 at the Europa Weightlifting Club in England.
Why this sport?
She took part in gymnastics until she was age 15. She then began playing golf, but after moving to university she had to give up the sport for financial reasons. She first encountered weightlifting after meeting British weightlifter Jack Oliver. "I was watching Jack and [British weightlifter] Zoe Smith train down at Europa and decided it would be much more fun to join in instead of watching, plus Zoe and Jack thought it would be fun to see how much I could lift. The rest is history."
Club / Team
Europa Weightlifting Club [GBR] / Wisdom 4 Weightlifting [GBR]:
Name of coach
Dave Sawyer [national]
International Debut
Year
2014
Competing for
Great Britain
Tournament
European Championships
Location
Tel Aviv, ISR
General Interest
Nicknames
The Barbell Queen (Instagram profile, 05 Sep 2019)
Hobbies
Spending time with friends, going out for meals, walking her dogs. (barbellcoffeeco.co.uk, 16 Jul 2017; jomec.co.uk, 08 Apr 2015)
Memorable sporting achievement
Triumphing in the 63kg class at the 2017 British Championships in Coventry, England, and winning gold at the 2015 U23 European Championships in Klaipeda, Lithuania. (barbellcoffeeco.co.uk, 16 Jul 2017)
Most influential person in career
British weightlifter Jack Oliver, who introduced her to the sport. (jomec.co.uk, 08 Apr 2015)
Injuries
She suffered a stress fracture in 2017. (weareengland.org, 13 Jul 2017)

Injury meant she missed out on selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (lep.co.uk, 16 Feb 2018)

In 2013 she tore her hip flexor. It took her six months to fully recover from the injury. (Athlete, 04 Nov 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Never let people tell you that you can't. Always aim to be the best version of you, not to become someone else." (britishweightlifting.org, 01 Aug 2014)
Awards and honours
She was named Sportscover Weightlifter of the Year at the 2018 British Weight Lifting Annual Achievement Awards. (08 Jun 2018)
Other sports
She competed in Latin American dance and gymnastics at national level in England. She has also played golf at junior county level. (telegraph.co.uk, 27 Jul 2014; thepositive.com, 25 Mar 2014)
Milestones
She became the first British lifter to win an U23 European championship title when she took gold at the 2015 U23 European Championships in Klaipeda, Lithuania. (britishweightlifting.org, 01 Jan 2016)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. (lep.co.uk, 09 Apr 2018; lancashirelife.co.uk, 27 Feb 2018; justgiving.com, 10 Dec 2017)
Other information
BEAUTY QUEEN
She has taken part in beauty pageants, representing Leeds in the Miss England grand final in 2012. She has also been a finalist in the Miss International UK competition and in 2018 she was named Miss Intercontinental England. "I hope that because I'm so far from the stereotypical beauty queen, young people will realise that the way to get the body you want isn't through starving yourself. I also like that one breaks the stereotype of the other, as people think female weightlifters should be really butch-looking and beauty queens should be tall, blond and rake-thin. It shows you don't have to be manly to enjoy the sport and you don't have to be skinny to be a beauty queen." (Facebook page, 05 Sep 2019; Instagram profile, 05 Sep 2019; dailymail.co.uk, 04 Mar 2014)

WOMEN RISING IN WEIGHTLIFTING
She says that the sport used to stereotypically be for male competitors, but in the UK women are now leading the way. "When I started lifting, you could turn up to a national championships and win a medal just because there were no other women there. There were maybe three women in your weight class if you were lucky. Now, it's a battle to qualify and it's a battle for those medals, which is really cool to see. There is a shift coming. Since CrossFit took off and got quite big, there's been more women come into weightlifting and actually at the top end, the women in Britain are doing better than the men." (yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk, 27 Oct 2018)

CROWDFUNDING FOR TOKYO
In 2017 she established a crowdfunding page to ask the public for donations after it was announced that UK Sport would no longer provide financial support to British weightlifters. "We have recently been told that our governing body will not be able to contribute financially to supporting any weightlifters in Britain go to international competitions to qualify for the [2020] Olympics. It's going to be a long hard journey to try and qualify [for Tokyo] anyway, plus the added financial stress will be tough, but I'm so determined to go I will find a way and I hope you can help support this dream." (justgiving.com, 10 Dec 2017)

COACHING
She co-owns the Wisdom 4 Weightlifting club and coaching business. She is a qualified physical education teacher, but has put her teaching career on hold to concentrate on weightlifting. (Twitter profile, 05 Sep 2019; bbc.com, 20 Jan 2017)

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