Pevensey ‘supergran’ battles cancer to become powerlift champ

Jackie smashed British world records for powerlifting
Jackie smashed British world records for powerlifting

A Pevensey grandmother who survived cancer now holds British records for powerlifting.

Jackie Cloughley, of Sunset Close, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012 and had to go through radiotherapy and a radical hysterectomy.

After getting the all clear, she was determined to lose the weight she had gained during her treatment so joined Performance Fitness gym in Eastbourne.

“I kept looking over to where all the weight-lifters were,” said the 57-year-old. “The gym owner, Scott, said ‘why don’t you give it a try?’”

So, just four months ago, Jackie started to lift weights and realised how strong she was and how much she enjoyed it.

“I have not looked back. It is the hardest thing I have ever done but I enjoy it so much,” said the grandmother of seven.

After a lot of training and hard work, Jackie smashed British records for powerlifting in the squat, deadlift, and bench press categories in September.

She said, “I was so nervous but everyone was so supportive. Breaking the record felt amazing but my legs are killing me. It’s hard.”

She managed to break the records for her age category in the 75 kilo class, squatting 83kg, deadlifting 107.5kg and bench pressing 53kg.

Now Jackie is training for the British Championships in Manchester in four weeks’ time, and from there she could represent the country in Europe.

She said, “I can’t believe I’m doing it. I think my kids are proud. I feel like granny hulk!”

She describes her weightlifting friends as like one big family and wants to thank everyone at the gym for their support.

Jackie’s daughter Victoria is extremely proud of her mum’s achievements. She said, “No-one can actually believe their eyes!

“People have asked for photos with her – she is a total inspiration to us all.”

Performance Fitness gym owner Scott Halliday said, “We call her supergran, she’s an amazing person. She’s worked all her life and she’s doing this for herself now.

“I think next year she will represent the country in the European or even world championships.”

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