TWO members of Burton’s Powerhouse Gym have been honoured by the International All-round Weightlifting Association (IAWA) by being inducted into the organisation’s hall of fame.
James Gardner, from Barton under Needwood, and Graham Saxton, from Derby, have joined the ranks of the very best in the organisation’s history.
Club coach and mentor Steve Gardner, a former world champion and also member of the IAWA’s hall of fame, said: “This is a just reward for their tremendous hard work in training over many years and travelling around the country and the world competing at great personal expense and hardship.
“And, of course, it’s a reward for their great ability to be successful at their chosen sport. I am very proud.
“It’s a long, hard and difficult road for the athletes to accumulate the points they require to qualify for induction.
“They need to perform at a high level at the national championships, the world championships and the gold cup world record breakers’ tournament.
“Points are also earned for record breaking and finishing in the top division of the All-Round Weightlifting League each year.”
James Gardner, aged just 30, is the youngest lifter to be admitted.
He has spent 18 years competing, as a Junior lifter for eight years and then as a senior for 10 years.
He is the current IAWA world champion in the Men’s 95kg Class, and holder of several of the IAWA’s world records.
Saxton, 51, is a well-seasoned masters lifter. He joined the Burton club in 1988 and has been coached by Steve Gardner. He is the current Masters (50+) world champion in the 125kg class.
The IAWA’s main active clubs are in Burton, Glasgow, Leicester, Grimsby, Hastings, Eastbourne, Preston, Tiverton and Sunbury-on-Thames.