Coach Jason Hylkema, back, and his powerlifters Michelle Welsh and Lindsay McGavin, will look to bring some medals back to Nelson from the Asia/Oceania Championships in December in Christchurch. Photo: Jacob Page.

Powerlifters find strength in each other


If Nelson powerlifters Michelle Welsh and Lindsay McGavin bring home medals from the Asia/Oceania Championships in December, in Christchurch, they only need to look at each other for the reason why.

The dynamic duo have trained together and pushed each other to New Zealand selection for the past 18 months under the watchful  eye of coach Jason Hylkema.

It is the second time Michelle will compete at the event, having competed in Vancouver last October, while Lindsay’s 18-month powerlifting journey sees him debut in black for the first time.

Jason, who has an Olympic weightlifting background, will be a New Zealand assistant coach at the event.

Michelle will be competing in the under-84kg category, while Lindsay will be taking part in the under-93kg.

Powerlifting involves three lifts, squat, bench and a dead lift, with all three combined to give an overall total.

Michelle wants to have a perfect nine-from-nine lifts and wants to go higher than her personal best of 377.5kg.

Lindsay is eager to beat his national Masters 2 record of 512.5kg.

Jason says he was confident both could exceed those marks with the right attitude.

“On the day, you’ve done all the hard work so it’s 90 per cent mental,” Jason says.

Michelle says having Lindsay as a training partner for 18 months had been a boost.

“Having Lindsay as a training partner has given me added motivation and I can safely say I’ve achieved far better results because I’ve been training alongside him.

“It’s been great to have someone who has the same goals as me and wants to push as hard as I do.”

Lindsay, who has been an active person all his life, found powerlifting while doing cross-fit and I was really enjoying the lifting side of it, but the cardio, not so much.

Lindsay then trained for a regional South Island event in Nelson. “I’ve had a really good preparation and I’ve really enjoyed the whole thing, even at 59, it’s been fun to test my ability to pick up something new.”

The Asia/Oceania Championships run from December 4 to December 11.