IPF World Classic 2016

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BGWLC had two lifters at 2016’s IPF World Championships: Ernie Parkes (83kg M4), and Anna Macnab (84kg+ Senior). Both performed brilliantly as part of the Great Britain team.

Ernie Parkes became the World Champion in his class, finishing with a 155kg squat, 90kg bench, 222.5kg deadlift and 467.5kg total. Well done Ernie!

Anna Macnab came 9th in her very competitive class, finishing with 197.5kg squat, 90kg bench, 202.5kg deadlift and 490kg total. All 4 results were new personal bests for Anna, plus her 202.5kg deadlift is a new British record!

Thanks also must go to our powerlifting coach Martin Bass, who traveled to Texas to help out with the GBR team.

 

Ron Whittam Obituary

RON WHITTAM 1931 – 2016

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Ron in 2014

I cannot write about “old Ron” without giving a brief history about the Club, as both he and the gym were entwined for many years.

Ron was born on the 2nd October 1931 in the London Hospital, Whitechapel. He first attended the Club in 1947 at the age of 16. At that time the gym was in an old outbuilding in the playground, where the school-keeper’s house is now. The gym transferred to its present site in 1950 when Jack Brender (the then Instructor) decided to utilise the empty space.

The gym in those days was primarily a weightlifting and bodybuilding gym with many strong, fit and active men in attendance. The gym has gone through many changes and personnel with Instructors such as: Jack Brender, Ken Marshall, Jimmy Savage, Bill Woods, George Manners, Jimmy Beaching, Ronnie Griffiths, Martin Bass, Pat Atteridge, Mark Welch, Heather Allison, Giles Greenwood, Abio Hamza and our newest addition Sauro Gardenal. Amongst the above were and are, some great Lifters and good servants to the Club.

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The Bethnal Green physique lads, 1952. Ron is second from right

The one constant who linked all of them, was Ron Whittam. Whether it was going with Ronnie Griffiths and myself to the British Champs in the 70s with Gary Peck (Lightweight British Junior Champion), and running around parts of Birmingham with him to make weight, or watching Steve Zetolofsky smash a 380kg squat at Digbeth Town Hall to silence the Northern Lifters’ fan club, when taking the British title from Eddy Kirshaw, or sitting with me when we saw George Manners press 319lbs at Hornsey Town Hall and screaming like two school kids – He was there! On that day the winner was supposed to be picked to go to the Munich Olympics. (George wasn’t picked, but that’s a story for another day).

From weightlifting Comps at Crystal Palace to powerlifting Comps at The Green, Ron supported the Club and its Lifters. As a young man he Lifted for Bethnal Green and in 2011 BAWLA (now BL) invited him to collect an award for being the longest serving member. He collected a number of awards and certificates from Patrick Atteridge for taking part in the old British Weightlifting gradings, the two hand curl being his favourite. He would always volunteer when needed and even in his 80s he would still be the first to help me with the chairs and get the gym set up prior to competitions.

His enthusiasm for training was incredible, staying with him throughout his life.   When I first attended the gym along with Ronnie Griffiths in 1970, old Ron would be training – “no talking”, non-stop 8 – 10 exercises. If, at any time you tried to talk to him or interrupt his flow you would receive the following “don’t bother me I’m training”. Over time, when he realised that both myself and young Ron were here to stay, we became friends, passing on wisdom and stories to us for the next 45 years. His attitude to training was unlike many of the modern trainers. As long as you were training with weights, it didn’t matter whether you were a weightlifter, powerlifter, body builder or a generic weight trainer; keeping fit, strong, active and healthy was the goal!

He loved to lay in the sun and his yearly jaunts to Malta would result in him coming back the colour of finely polished mahogany (no fears about the ozone for our Ron). He was a magnificent swimmer, both in the sea and swimming pool, and on many occasions he swam with my children to raise money for his favourite charities. He joined the Serpentine Swimming Club in 2000 and became a favourite of all who met him. Even in his 80s, he would still be training 4 times a week. Tuesday and Thursday at the gym and swimming Wednesday and Saturday at the Serpentine – READ THAT AGAIN – Weights Tuesday and Thursday – Swim Wednesday and Saturday.

I saw him at the gym on the Thursday and the swimmers saw him at the Serpentine on the following Saturday, just a few days before he passed away. That was Ron!

For 20 years he had been a member of LEBA (London Ex-Boxers Assoc) and spent many happy hours chatting with his mates. For me it was a pleasure talking to someone who could tell me about all the old famous strongmen and body builders; Reg Park, Rueb Martin etc, who he had seen, as well as the numerous wrestling and boxing matches he had attended in and around the East End in the late 40s, 50s and 60s. He was a living link to the past. He spent all of his life within a mile of where he was born. In 1944 he was bombed out of his uncle’s pub at Old Bethnal Green Road (his uncle being killed by a V1 rocket). He then moved to a prefab in Ion Square (now Gardens) off Hackney Road and when new flats were built, he moved to Wellington Row where he spent the rest of his life.

Ron was always positive, enjoyed life, did his own thing and loved every minute of it. A good life and an example to us all.

RIP Ron

Martin

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.

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Ron Whittam, second from right, in 1952

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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.

Classes

Open Session Training

We hold Open Session for Weightlifting and Powerlifting training almost every day of the week. Open Sessions are – as the name suggests – open to both disciplines and no pre-booking is required.

See “Opening Times” for more details.

Over-50 Strength Training

These classes concentrate on the strength needs of older people in good general health. If you’re interested in joining these classes, please contact martin@bgwlc.co.uk

See “Opening Times” for more details.

 

GBPF British Classics 2015 – full results

With all the results in from the GBPF British Classics, here are the results for the BGWLC lifters. Full results can be found on the GBPF site.

For photos and videos, please see our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Well done to all our lifters – here’s to an even better 2016!

Category Best
squat
Best
b/press
Best
deadlift
Total Place
Rachel Smith 52 75 37.5 107.5 220 6
Leah Grant 63 120 60 140 320 8
Laura Porter 72 102.5 55 125 282.5 16
Ellie Rahmani 84 110 52.5 142.5 305 7
Sylvia Osei-Tutu 84+ 115 80 155 350 7
Alan Joseph 83 190 122.5 247.5
(M1BR)
560 15
Ivan Otim 93 185 115 265 565 25
Diego Martinez Rodney 93 230 142.5 265 637.5 9
Reece Smith 105 240 157.5 272.5 670 8
Kieran Stubbings 105 SJ 195 127.5 207.5 530 4
George Seeger 93 J 212.5 130 275 617.5 10

LSE Series 4 – results

On Saturday 22nd August a group of Olympic Weightlifters from BGWLC travelled to Crystal Palace for the London & South East Weightlifting Series 4.

Everyone lifted well, and Thomas Leys & Trevor Chung both won silver in their classes.

Trevor & Tom with their medals

Trevor & Tom with their medals

Weight Class Best Snatch Best C&J Total
Tom Leys 85 95 125 220
Trevor Chung 77 85 105 190
Josephine Erles 63 48 57 105

Congratulations to the lifters, many thanks to everyone who came along to spectate, and special thanks to Sauro Gardenal for his coaching expertise!

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Beginners weightlifting with Sauro Gardenal

From Monday 27th July, our weightlifting coach Sauro will be coaching beginners Olympic weightlifting at BGWLC on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from 5-6pm. The sessions will be charged at the usual rates.

If you are a new lifter wanting to learn the fundamentals of weightlifting, we ask that you come to the gym at this time so that Sauro can coach you most effectively.

Non-beginners are still welcome in the gym at these times.

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.

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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.