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After qualifying success at regional championships in November, Solent Strength Club – Solent University, Southampton’s student-led powerlifting team – has taken home a gold medal at the BUCS Powerlifting Championships.

7th May 2024
Sport and fitnessHomepage - News - Standard

On Sunday 28 April, powerlifting talent from universities across England gathered at Cardiff University to show their strength and come out on top. Four emerging athletes from Solent University, who are supported to pursue their passion for sport while succeeding in their studies, competed against their peers, with club president, Joshua Smith rising victorious with a gold medal.

Joshua, a Business Management student, beat challenging competition to finish the championship with impressive wins in 265kg squats, 190.5kg bench, and 305kg deadlift. His three successes led him to gold, at an event that celebrates the immense powerlifting talent in higher education. Joshua says:

“Winning BUCS is such an incredible feeling, having set breaking the British university bench press record as my main goal when preparing for this competition. But having come out of it winning fills me with pride. I started powerlifting just before I started at Solent, so having my club and the University guide me through my journey is very heartwarming; to know I have a good support group with me.

“I’m more looking forward to being able to represent the University in July, when I’ll hopefully go to the university world championships in Estonia.”

Competing alongside Joshua, and representing Solent, were Sport and Exercise students, Maisie Sweeney, Connor Clayton and Luis Canova. Launching in 2020, the club is carving out a name for itself on the powerlifting circuit, saying:

“We’re super proud of what we have accomplished so far. Each year we’re getting more athletes qualify for BUCS and we couldn’t be happier.

“Solent has been great at supporting us, recognising us as an official sports club and giving us multiple opportunities to showcase the talents of the team. More and more of our athletes are competing at the championships – it's great news for Solent!”

Solent is passionate about supporting students pursuing ambitions in sport, with a state-of-the-art Sports Complex which meets the needs of competing athletes. The University is recognised by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme for their work supporting student athletes to excel in both academia and sport. Ian Molyneux, Sport Development Officer, says:

“This level of success is further indication of the importance of a well-supported sports program here at Solent. Students continue to come to Solent University to further their studies and compete in their chosen sport at the highest level, and this shows how important the program is to our students and the University.

“Joshua’s success in the BUCS Powerlifting Championships is no easy task and to take home gold is vindication of the huge amount of hours he has dedicated to his craft. As president of Solent Strength Club, we are certain tis triumph will be a force of good for Solent in the years to come. Congratulations Josh, we are so proud!”