Congratulations to Dapo and Moa (juniors) on being selected to represent Great Britain at the World Classic Powerlifting Championships 5th-17th June 2018 Calgary, Canada.


EUROPEAN MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS 6th to 10th March 2018 Helsingborg, Sweden

This year, BGWLC have three lifters selected to compete for Great Britain – Thomas Celestin (105kg) , Ernie and June. They will be joined by current World Masters M2 (93kg) champion Robert Rodney. This is the first European Powerlifting championships and will be held in  Helsingborg, Sweden over the course of this week, we wish the lifters much success.

Full results will be available on the EPF website


Ron Whittam

Ron Whittam’s funeral will be held on 5th April 2016, at 12pm, at the City of London Cemetery. As a mark of respect, the gym will be closed on this day for both the morning and evening sessions.


Ron Whittam, second from right, in 1952


Ron at the gym in 2014

Please note: this post has been edited to reflect our decision to close the gym all day on 5th April.

New weightlifting coach, Sauro Gardenal

olympic-weightlifting-4From 11th July 2015 we have a new Olympic weightlifting coach at BGWLC! Sauro Gardenal is a former British Masters Champion in the 85kg class (2011 & 2012) with many years of coaching expertise.

Sauro will be coaching sessions at the gym on Monday, Wednesday & Friday evenings (see our Opening Times page). Olympic weightlifters are, as always, also welcome to train at the gym any time Sauro is not there.

Please join us in welcoming Sauro & wishing him the best of luck at BGWLC!

BGWLC Diversity Survey

We are currently working with Tower Hamlets council to ensure our club is seen as fair and inclusive in the community. This is part of our effort to secure grant funding for the gym.

We are conducting a survey of our members & gym attendees, and invite you to fill out our survey online:

BGWLC Diversity Survey

All information is anonymous and confidential, and you do not need to answer any questions you are not comfortable with.

There will also be paper copies available at the gym from tomorrow (Friday 29th May), if you would prefer to fill out the survey that way.

Thank you!

Coaching Session at Homerton Hospital

Modern Physiotherapists are increasingly interested in what they can do to help more athletic populations recover – not just regaining basic mobility, but returning to fully active lifestyles and even to competition. One part of that process is the prescription of exercise, and a growing number of Physios are interested in the role that heavy weight training can play.

Of course, in order to prescribe effectively they first need to have practical experience of their own.

One Physio with an active interest in lifting is Fredy Markovits, of Homerton Hospital in Hackney. Fredy has been training with us at Bethnal Green for some time and since his department has acquired some good basic barbell kit, Fredy has been teaching the core Power lifts to other members of staff.

Last Wednesday, a group of coaches and lifters from BGWLC responded to Fredy’s invitation and spent an evening coaching the Physio team.


We were made very welcome by the 20 Physios in attendance. They were an enthusiastic and attentive group with a real range of experience. We organised them into groups and worked on squat and deadlift. We saw some excellent efforts and all of the Phsyios had an excellent training mindset. Inevitably, the deadlift session got a bit competitive…

Of course, working with such large groups meant it was impossible to give each trainee as much individual attention as the coaches would have liked. However, in the time we had, we were able to give some useful direction and see marked improvements in technique. It probably helped that as Physios, the technical aspects of lifting were already well understood and we were able to focus on the practicalities of getting under the bar.

There were also some excellent questions after the practical session – one or two of which made us think pretty hard!

As coaches, we felt we got a lot from it – it was interesting to work with so many novices  in close succession and we were able to see a real range of approaches to the lifts.

We were also pleased that a number of those taking part expressed an interest in visiting the club – we hope to see them down at Bethnal Green some time soon!

All in all, an enjoyable experience we’d be happy to repeat.

Thanks to Fredy for organising this and to Martin, Alan, Diego and Neal for giving up their evenings to coach.

Bob Crisp, 1934-2014

The Bob Crisp Memorial Shield

The Bob Crisp Memorial Shield

By Pat Atteridge.

Bob Crisp sadly passed away on Christmas Day 2014, and laid to rest on Friday 16th January by his loving family and wife Sheila.

Born in St Leonard’s Hospital, Hackney, he started lifting at Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club in 1949, aged fifteen, then went on to train at the Colvestone Weightlifting Club in Dalston in the 1960s and was a member of the weghtlifting team for many years.

In a match in 1963 he achieved a 300lbs (136kg) clean & jerk, a milestone back then. Then in 1990 Bob competed in in his first World Masters, placing 9th; later he won silver in 1994 at the age of sixty.

Always a mind of wisdom, on one occasion while coaching a lifter at an international he convinced the lifter to drop his opening jerk by saying in the manner of someone very wise: “That’s rather a very heavy weight to start with, I suggest dropping 10 kilos” which the lifter did, and went on to do a very good total.

Competing in his last World Masters in 2012, and winning the bronze medal, travelling all over the world with his good wife Sheila, he will be missed by many on both the national and international scene.

Always a fighter, overcoming many illnesses, Bob was an inspiration to all who had the pleasure to meet him. And so our sympathy goes out to all his family at this very sad time.

RIP Bob, from the Masters both north & south of the border, you will be missed.

The Bob Crisp Memorial Shield will be presented to the Best Female Lifter at the Southern Masters, in Bob’s honour.

BGWLC Weightlifting Club Championships – report

BGWLC Weightlifting Club Championships 2014 – Saturday 13th December

by Pat Atteridge

Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club held its annual championships on Saturday 13th December, and showed that weight lifting is alive & well at the Green, with 17 competing of all ages & bodyweight classes.

This year was the first time the Green used an age allowance to make it fair for the older lifter, and I must say it turned out to be the best club championships ever.

Organised by the weight lifting coach Hamza Abiyo, and Martin Bass, club secretary, and run very well – with Martin doing a great job as usual as M.C. It was great to see so many beginners competing – 11 in total, 9 in the first group and 2 in the second group. 6 competed in the advanced/experienced group, for lifters who have competed before.

There were 3 medals for each group, and I must say Martin pushed the boat out with the standard of medals – better than I’ve won at the British Masters!

In the beginners’ group there was a great competition between one of Sauro’s boys Jorge Arango, and Thomas Leys from the Green. Thomas pulled ahead by only one kilo, coming first in the novice group. In the experienced group there was a great battle between Mark Bass and Tomasz Joka, once again coming down to a single kilo. Tomasz treated to us to a display of clean-grip snatching, but had to settle for 4th place overall. Michael Roach was the runner-up, and Pat Atteridge won for the second time in his long career.

Click here to see videos of all the lifts!


Snatch Jerk
Name BWT Allowance* 1 2 3 Sub-total 1 2 3 Total
James Davenport 63 74+2 40 45 45 121 55 60 65 181
Sajjana Heart 67.5 65+42 40 40 42 149 50 52 55 201
Paul Lee 71 58 40 45 50 108 55 60 70 163
Jorge Arango 75 51 75 80 85 136 90 95 103 239
Jon James 76 48 40 45 50 93 60 65 67 158
Vagelis Filis 80 40 70 75 78 118 90 95 100 218
Jonathan Oviasu 85 30 45 50 56 86 80 90 95 166
George Richardson 88 24 60 65 70 89 85 90 90 179
Richard Magowan 85 30 45 50 55 85 70 75 77 162
Thomas Leys 83.5 33 80 85 90 123 105 112 117 240
Darren Klein 100 0 100 103 107 103 100 107 115 210
  1. Thomas Leys
  2. Jorge Arango
  3. Vagelis Filis

Experienced lifters

Snatch Jerk
Name BWT Allowance* 1 2 3 Sub-total 1 2 3 Total
Patrick Atteridge 62.5 75/54 55 57 59 186 70 73 75 261
Michael Roach 71 58/28 60 65 68 151 90 95 100 246
John Atteridge 80 40/32 80 85 152
Tomasz Joka 86.5 27 90 95 102 129 100 110 120 239
Mark Bass 89.5 21 90 94 97 118 110 118 123 240
Chris Ryan 97 6 77 77 83 89 100 107 110 199
  1. Patrick Atteridge
  2. Michael Roach
  3. Mark Bass

* Allowances were made between age & bodyweight, to ensure all lifters were competing on a level playing field.

BGWLC Weightlifting Annual Club Championships – video

BGWLC weightlifter Chris Ryan has put together two great videos of the annual weightlifting club championships, held on 13th December.

The lifters were split into two groups – novice lifters, who have never competed before; and experienced lifters. Each group had 1st, 2nd & 3rd place rankings; totals were adjusted for bodyweight & age.


1st place: Tom (90 snatch / 117 jerk / 207 total)
2nd place: Jorge (85 / 103 / 207)
3rd place: Vagellis (78 / 100 / 178)

Experienced lifters:

1st place: Pat (57 / 75 / 132)
2nd place: Micky (65 / 95 / 160)
3rd place: Mark (97 / 118 / 215)

Congratulations to everyone who took part!

2014 Greater London Championships – report

GBPF Greater London Powerlifting Championships – Saturday 22nd November 2014

By Martin Bass; photos by Dave McWilliams.

BGWLC packed with spectators

BGWLC packed with spectators

We held the Greater London Champs with over 60 Lifters competing overall; 16 plus 1 guest represented the BGWLC.

5 men were competing for the first time, 2 of whom – Mike and Jason – were trying to qualify for the British Masters Champs. I will try to keep this article brief otherwise, with 17 Lifters, it could be a lengthy report!

We had 3 ladies competing, Rachel 52s M1, Laura and Orla both 72s.

RACHEL SMITH: 65(pb)/32.5/87.5 – Total: 180kg
LAURA PORTER: 95/52.5(pb)/120(pb) – Total: 267.5kg(pb)
ORLA KAYE: 82.5(pb)/55(pb)/102.5(pb) – Total: 240kg(pb)

Mike Denzil

Mike Denzil

All the ladies did well, with a sprinkling of personal bests. Rachel a 65kg squat; Laura a 52.5kg bench press and a big 120kg deadlift, plus total; and Orla a full house – squat, bench press, deadlift, total just falling 5kgs short of qualifying for the British Ladies. Next time!

5 Men were competing for the first time.

WADE LEE: 83s (b/wt 77) 157.5/105/180 – Total 442.5kg

NIZANIEL BUERY: 83s 147.5/140/210 – Total 497.5kg

MIKE DENZIL: 83s M1 150/107.5/190 – Total 447.5kg

JASON JACKSON: 83s M1 160/122.5/215 – Total 497.5kg

SAHEED MAHOOD: 93s 157.5/95/210 – Total 470kg

All the boys did very well with both the M1s qualifying for the British Masters next year. A special note for young Wade, who technically is very good showing plenty of potential.

Next up, James McDonald, making a come back at 74s, coming down from 83s.

JAMES MCDONALD: 74s 120/90/160 – Total 370kg

Good weights from James, with more to come at this bodyweight.

Alan Joseph

Alan Joseph

We had 2 other Masters Lifters, Alan 83s M1 (M2 next year) and Didier 93s M1.

ALAN JOSEPH: 83s M1 150/115/230 – Total 495kg

Alan has been carrying an injury so a qualifying total was all that was needed. (Get fixed Al!)

DIDIER KAN: 93s M1 205(pb)/115/215(pb) – Total 535kg(pb)

A very good performance from Didier.

In the 93s Seniors we had Ivan, Frederick and Anthony.

IVAN OTIM: 93s 190/120/257.5 – Total 567.5kg(pb)

FREDERICK ANNAN: 93s (85.3 – eat more Fred!) 190/157.5/245 – Total 592.5kg(pb)

ANTHONY UNG: 93s 200(pb)/120(pb)/250(pb) – Total 570kg(pb)

Anthony had looked good training with Steve lately and the numbers reflected this. Personal bests all round making up for the disappointment of missing the British.

We had 2 105s, Thomas plus a bigger Reece coming up from the 93s.

REECE SMITH: 105s 215(pb)/145/255(pb) – Total 615kg(pb)

6 months at this body weight will see Reece’s numbers climb.

THOMAS CELESTIN: 105s 242.5(pb)*/120/312.5(pb)* – Total 675kg(pb)*

*These pbs reflect Tom’s numbers since his shoulder surgery. As you can see the bench is still a work in progress.

Big Dave lifted as a guest and did very well.

DAVE RYGIELSKI: 120s (114) 205/140/250 – Total 595kg

As usual all our Lifters did well for the Gym. Thanks to our two new refs, Laura and Neal who did a good job, and also to the loaders, supporters and everyone who mucked in to tidy up afterwards ready for the BodyMASS Regional Competition that we hosted the next day.

Thanks to all.


See more photos from the competition on our Facebook page!

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