By Jacob Panons
Louisa Curtis and Ben Hickling, both members of Full Range Fitness in Polegate, excelled at the recent continental and regional competitions in Colchester.
Louisa finished first in the Athlete Programme European Championship CrossFit scaled female division. While 16-year-old Ben competed in the British Weightlifting Southern Regional Youth Series Tier Three and qualified for the English Championships.
Louisa qualified for the competition in second place and on her way to winning the European Championship she achieved a new personal best of 50kg for her snatch lift, did 13 muscle ups, and completed a workout with a handstand walk in for the first time.
She said: “Winning the competition was overwhelming to be fair, I was not expecting it but I knew I had a chance.”
The Eastbourne firefighter who trains five days a week and twice a day also said: “It was all down to being consistent with my training. I also had a good group of people around me.
“I had to listen to my body in order to recover, I trapped a nerve in my neck and was out for three weeks, I also struggled with my knee.”
Curtis, who moved to the area eight years ago, was drawn to CrossFit after she stopped playing rugby: “I wanted a challenge and it had a competitive angle, It ticked all the boxes for me.
“It’s the first competition I have qualified for as an individual (The European Championships). I missed out on qualification the year before by nine places so I set it as my target for 2018. I qualified in second and went on to win at the final.
“I found it daunting not having any team mates to look too during the workouts but the sense of achievement gained from doing it on my own was massive. Especially as I PB’d my snatch at 50kg (weightlifting) on the day, got multiple bar muscle ups and managed to handstand walk (gymnastics).
“It’s been a long year of training on my own but it paid off. Just goes to show what you can achieve through some focus and some consistency. I’m now looking ahead to Battle of Britain in April where I’ve qualified in the Masters RxCategory for the first time.”
The Battle of Britain competition takes place in Staffordshire this April while she is also aiming to defend her European Championship title in January 2020.
Hickling also had a day to remember in Colchester where he clean and jerked 85kg, snatch lifted 58kg, and finished with a total of 143.
His score puts him within the top 10 weightlifters in the country at that level.
Hickling added, “I was in the 55kg category for the juniors weightlifting. I got a 58kg snatch, 85kg clean and jerk and qualified for the English Championships in February. If I then qualify at the next competition I make it to the British championships.”
Qualifiers for the 2020 Athlete Programme European Championship take place in November while the England under-17 Championships are held in Luton later this month.
Full Range Fitness: www.fullrangefitness.com