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Cambridge RMPT Strength powerlifters win the top prizes at East of England Powerlifting Championships

Kirsty Roberts and Rhett Milton-Barnes were in dominant form at the recent East of England Powerlifting Championships.

The duo, who are both part of RMPT Strength that train out of Point Blank Gym in Cambridge, came away from the event as the leading female and male competitor respectively.

Roberts, competing in the 69kg category, had the highest overall total of 350kg with a 130kg squat, 80kg bench and 140kg deadlift, winning her the best female lifter title on the day.

Team RMPT at the East of England Powerlifting Championships
Team RMPT at the East of England Powerlifting Championships

She said: “I’m thrilled with the competition results, particularly as I’m only in my first year of competing in powerlifting.

“RMPT lifters are an incredibly supportive community, and we all encourage each other to do and be our best, it really makes all the difference.”

Milton-Barnes, meanwhile, featured in the 120kg category and had the highest overall male total of 750kg with a 270kg squat, 180kg bench and 300kg deadlift.

Milton-Barnes, who is also the club coach, said: “Mindset drives performance, and I work with my athletes to really unlock their strength potential.

“Alongside the physical benefits, strength training is also great for mental health as well.

“We are thrilled with everyone’s competition results recently, but the real progress happens over years and is very much driven by personal development.”

Both lifters have qualified for next year’s National Championships.

‘Team effort’ behind Siobhan's success

Siobhan Taylor said it was a team effort which helped her win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in New Zealand last week, writes Alex Moss.

The 44-year-old, who works as an ITU nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, was making her debut in an international event, having been selected for the England squad after winning three consecutive All England titles.

Taylor competed in two competitions at the Due Drop Events Centre, in Auckland, finishing second in the M1 84+kg category behind New Zealand’s Polly Websdell in the bench press, before going one better in the powerlifting to take home the gold medal.

“I can’t quite put it into words,” Taylor said. “It’s the kind of stuff that happens to other people.

“It was my dream to go out and get a gold medal and I just keep looking at it. I can’t quite believe it’s mine.

“I just want to say thanks to everybody who shared my story, donated, and cheered me on.

“Every single little thing I had support from really helped me get the result. I look at the medal and this is the outcome of all the help and support and work that’s gone into it.

“It’s not just my medal. It’s a part of everybody who supported me to get there. It’s a team effort, and that’s not just people in the gym, but also family and friends and the community. I’m really grateful.”

Taylor’s second event of the week saw her take on competitors from New Zealand and Wales in three different disciplines including squat, bench press and deadlift.

The RMPT Strength member built up a strong lead with victories in the squat and bench press, which proved to be more than enough to clinch the overall title, despite finishing fourth in the deadlift.

“I came off after the deadlifting thinking I had probably not placed very well,” Taylor said. “I asked my handler Martin ‘how did I do?’ and he said ‘Siobhan, you’re champion.’

“I sat in the chair and cried. I didn’t really know what to do. I was relieved it was over and I was shocked I’d won. I’m still shocked that I’ve won.

“I nearly quit the sport entirely two years ago. I lost my dad, my relationship ended and it was during Covid. It was all getting a bit too much, but the support I’ve had has kept me going. My win is their win.”

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