Record-breaker Ben Cattermole is double Commonwealth champion

POWERLIFTING: Record-breaker Ben Cattermole took on the world and won when he clinched two titles at the 2011 Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships, in Bournemouth.

The 17-year-old Felixstowe Academy student was the only English competitor in his 66kg class and did his country proud, powering his way to victories in the Three-Lift and bench press competitions on the south coast.

Cattermole only took up the sport last year but is already making giant strides and lifted a new British combined weight record of over 422.5lbs in the squat, bench press and dead lift, before taking the individual bench press title.

Competing in the Sub-Junior category (under-17s) Cattermole, who is his studying for his ‘A’levels will move up to the junior category (18-23 years) next year before making the leap to the senior division when he is 23.

“It was a tough tournament and I was pushed to the limit from both a physical and mental point of view,” said the Claydon-born lifter, who competes for the Suffolk Spartans along with training partner and Paralympic hopeful, Zoe Newson.

“From a personal point of view, being in the right frame of mind mentally is my biggest challenge and overcoming the mind games is my biggest challenge. If you lift with your head, you won’t fail.”

Cattermole has lived in Felixstowe for five years and broke into powerlifting after seeing an advert for the Suffolk Spartans at his local gym.

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Now he combines his training between Lacey’s Gym in Felixstowe and training with the Spartans and his coaches Daniel Collins and Louise Pennell, in East Bergholt.

“I was always interested in sport and going to the gym and I looked at powerlifting as a sport and saw that it combined three of the toughest exercises there are,” he recalled.

“I am quite fortunate too as I have got quite a good body shape for powerlifting as I am short and squat with long arms and short legs.”

While aesthetically he is blessed, mentality plays a big part in the sport and Cattermole insists being ‘in the zone’ prior to his competition, is an equally integral part of his preparation.

“There are several methods that people use such as using smelling salts to get fired up,” said the part-time shop assistant.

“I also heard the story of one husband and wife team where, before the wife goes out to compete, she punches him square in the face to get fired up!

“I think I will stick to sitting in a corner, allowing myself a few sugary sweets and doing a few loosening-up exercises.”

The last year proved to be a successful year for Cattermole and he won the Suffolk Coastal Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

However, the teenager clearly has one eye on the future and outlined his plans for the years ahead.

“Powerlifting will be at this year’s Paralympics but not the Olympics although it will be in 2016, when the Games are in Brazil. That would be a brilliant target for me to aim for,” said Cattermole.

“I believe the European and Junior Championships are being held this year and I currently exceed the qualifying weights for both tournaments, but there are no guarantees that I will go to those tournaments although winning the Commonwealth titles will hopefully help me,” added the youngster who will eventually move up the weight classes as he explained.

“A sensible time to do that looks like being when I reach the seniors class (over 23), as I have still got one last growth spurt in me, probably this year, where I am likely to put on a lot of weight and muscle,” he added.