State U15 and U17 Championships Results

State U15 and U17 Championships Results



Love this photo !!


Cougars Photo Movie

August 17th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Commonwealth Games


To be honest when I left for this Games I did not really want to go as I thought nothing would be able to top the awesome experience of my first Games in Delhi.
How wrong I was !! – this games was even better but in a different way to Delhi – maybe because this time I was more involved as team coach in everything from the warmups and weight selection and everything in between.

Its was real privilege to be part of the event that starts at the training camp and ends in the 8 continuous days of platform coaching.

I would like to thank the athletes and the coaching and management group of Rob Mitchell Yourik Sarkisian, Anthony Dove and George Chamoun – it was great to work with such a professional and hard working team.
I would also like to thank team Physio Andrew McGough who had his work cut out with the weightlifters over the 3 weeks and Amie Cox who worked so hard with Jenna on her diet plan

2014 Commonwealth Games full Results

Angie’s lifters Tegan (4th) and Erika (4th) performed very well with Tegan putting 8kg on her total as a 48kg and Erika 5Kg on her total

Jessica Edge did 64, 81 and just missed 84 getting 5/6 lifts just 1kg under her qualifying total

The next two days were a roller coaster for me being very disappointed  for Rob (5th) who did 142,183 and then over the moon for
Damo (Bronze) who after suffering multiple injuries this year pulled out 171, 217  a 388 total – his biggest since before the Olympics to get a bronze medal


August 11th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Oceania Championships – National Masters – Gladstone Visit – League 3

Oceania Championships

Awesome lifting from Andrea Miller 80, 104 Oceania bronze medal and 12kg PB on her total and NZ record Clean and Jerk
James Norman did 96, 122 but missed 128 twice in a bid for a medal
Josh Wu still suffering with leg problems did 86,112 to grab a Junior Oceania Bronze medal

Full results here -


National Masters Championships


Peter Foster pulled out a great  performance of 115,127 and a national Snatch and total record to take out the best lifter of the National Masters Championships – a truly awesome achievement !!
Kathy Cameron did 43,56 a PB snatch and Total

Gladstone Visit

Rob myself and Angie went up to Crossfit Gladstone to help run the comp , run a ref course a do some coaching – the whole event was organised by Tia and we all has a great time – here is the coverage in the local news



League Round 3

well over 100 lifers competed at league round 3 with over 45 from the club

Full results here

and League Division scores here

Damo 168, 212 – best total since the Olympics
Rob 145,190 PB CJ and Total
Brayden PB Total by 14
Darcia PB Total by 9
Ebony PB total by 6
Gareth  PB total by 23
Jett  State and National CJ and Total records
Tia PB Snatch by 5 and PB total
Kate winning Div 4



Following comps coming up


Commonwealth Games July 23 – August 3 – Glasgow
Qld U15 & Youth Championships – Aug 16 – Cougars
JME Qld Club Challenge Round 3 – August 23- Cougars
QWA League Round 4 & Masters League Round 4 – September 13 – 14 Gold Coast
Qld Senior & Junior Championships -October 4 – 5 – Cougars


Please note

The qualifying period for the Queensland Senior Championships is 19th September 2013 – 19th September 2014.
The minimum standard for entry in the Queensland Senior Championships is AWF D Grade.
The qualifying period for the Queensland Junior Championships is 19th September 2013 – 19th September 2014.
The minimum standard for entry in the Queensland Junior Championships is AWF E Grade.
There is no minimum qualifying standard for Queensland Under 15, Youth, School, or Masters Championships.

Grade Scale here




At the weekend ASADA were at the comp testing people and in some cases selected people that were competing in their first comp
you need to be very careful on what you take especially supplements and check all medications here –

July 2nd, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Grit – How do you score – how can you improve your score ?

Harvard researcher Angela Duckworth isolated two qualities that she thought might be a better predictor of outstanding achievement:

1) The tendency not to abandon tasks from mere changeability. Not seeking something because of novelty. Not “looking for a change.”
2) The tendency not to abandon tasks in the face of obstacles. Perseverance, tenacity, doggedness.

she developed a test to measure it – the grit test and she found it was remarkably predictive of success. – the test is below


Tegan – 4.7 (top 10%)
Damo – 4.3 (top 10%)
Deb – 5.0 (top 10%)

When interviewing Damon Kelly one of his pieces of advice was that “weightlifting is a marathon not a sprint”

Grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Essentially, the Grittier person is focused on winning the marathon, not the sprint.

Individuals high in Grit are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity.



Further reading



May 4th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

AWF Clubs Tournament – Cougars FTW !

AWF Clubs Tournament

Cougars won ALL the team events and the overall cup at the 2014 Australian Club Championships.


            Cougars President Damon Kelly  with the overall winners Trophy


The Winning Teams:
Senior Men: Robert Galsworthy Lukas Gardner Jonathan Coy
Senior Women: Erika Ropati Frost Tegan Napper Melissa Robinson
Junior Men: Josh Wu James Norman Josh Mak
Junior Women: Michelle Kahi Robin Parr Maddi Wu
Masters: Peter Foster Patrick Galligan Pito Levi

There is a lot of effort behind the scenes organizing the lifters for the clubs tournament especially now with everybody having to do the ASADA cert before they could enter.
I would like to thank my wife for her efforts in organizing the teams and for lifters like Rob Galsworthy for lifting for the club when their focus is the games.

Some notable good performances
Ashley Adams – 14Kg PB total
Declan Galligan 4kg PB – 10% of total :)
James Catlow-Elliott – 10kg PB
Jett Gaffney – 6kg PB – 10% of total :)
Lucy Graham 11kg PB
Marcus Lewis 13kg PB
Samantha Downs 15Kg PB !!

Records broken
Jett Gaffney M38 Under 15 QLD SNATCH 25kg
Jett Gaffney M38 Under 15 QLD TOTAL 60kg
Marcus Lewis M94 Youth QLD SNATCH 80kg
Marcus Lewis M94 Youth QLD CJ 103kg
Marcus Lewis M94 Youth QLD TOTAL 183kg

Results and Results Book

2014 AWF Club Tournament results book



 Jessica Edge Qualifying for the Commonwealth Games for Malta


                                                  The 82kg qualifying lift !

It was a huge weekend from another point of view as Jessica Edge who had moved to Cougars from South Australia to train
was trying to qualify to lift at the Commonwealth Games for Malta as a 53
Apart from a nervous starter on 59 snatch which she just got – she then lifted awesomely to do 64, 82 to make it into the team. – this was also a PB Sinclair

We were both emotional after she qualified as when we started the journey it looked a VERY tall order that she was going to make it.
She had not trained regularly since the end of September due to a knee injury and had to lose 4kg of bodyweight and also had the knee problem to manage and only had 5 weeks to go till the end of qualifying. Also a week out she got gastritis and was struggling to eat !!
But she got a good physio and dietitian to work with and worked very hard on training and recovery and lifted with great courage on the day to pull it off – great work Jess !


April 9th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

An Interview with Dual Olympian Damon Kelly

We are very fortunate at Cougars Weightlifting Club to have two very experienced Athletes in Damon Kelly and  Deb Acason.
here is  Damo’s Interview


Can you give a brief summary of your achievements in the sport?

I have competed at two Olympic games and two Commonwealth Games winning silver and gold medals and setting two Commonwealth Games Records in the process. I have also competed a whole host of Oceania (Senior and Junior), World (Senior and Junior) and University Championships.


How and why did you get involved and what kept you lifting in the beginning?

I began weightlifting at St Laurence’s College when I was in year 10 back in 1998. I was lucky enough that Mike Power, a former weightlifters himself and father of a student, started up a weightlifting club at the school. At that time a few friends and myself were just starting to dabble in weights and the gym and we decided to give weightlifting a go since we were going to the gym anyway. From there I started training and learning the sport. After a while Mike encouraged me to go and train at Cougars Weightlifting Club and the rest is history. From the start I enjoyed the sport and this is what really kept me going. I thought it was great travelling interstate to compete at U/16 & U/18 National Championships. It was competing at these competitions and watching the senior championships that inspired me to keep going. In the beginning I didn’t think about going to the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, I just enjoyed the sport for what it was.


What do you have in your training bag and what personal training gear do you use and why?

I have my weightlifting shoes, socks, lifting straps, strapping tape, knee sleeves, belt, wrist bandages, stretching bands, tubing, various triggering implements and a lot of old ASADA booklets. I use strapping tape for my thumbs and ring fingers every training session I have snatch or clean and jerk just because I’m soft and it hurts my hands. I have Rehband knee sleeves, the original blue ones; I started using them in 2006 and found them to be the best. They don’t offer support but just keep the knees nice and warm which makes squatting that little bit nicer. This year I have just started using boxing hand wraps for my wrist bandages. Previously I have used the stiff wrist supports with the Velcro but the latest brand I used Velcro kept failing so I looked for an alternative. So far I have found the boxing hand wraps to work well and they are something you can leave on the whole time. I have Nike weightlifting shoes. I tried them around 2008/2009 and liked them, simple as that. As long as your weightlifting shoe has a solid heel then it should do the job. My belt is a leather powerlifting belt I have had since 2006. It was the only belt I could find that fit me after mine broke a week out from the Commonwealth Games. It is a bit uncomfortable in the start position for clean and jerks but I have become use to it and now it would feel funny using any other belt. I use Ironmind lifting straps as I have found them to be the strongest. As long as you don’t lend your straps to Rob Galsworthy they last a long time.


When warming up for a big competition what goes through your head?

Not much to be honest which is probably easy to say after 16 years of weightlifting. I can’t remember what it was like when I first started competing but I have always enjoyed competitions. If you enjoy competing then it makes it easier. During my warm up I try make sure that the lifts are moving fast and I feel comfortable in the proper positions. Also making sure my technique is feeling fluid and smooth. During the warm up I try and make sure all lifts are consistent so that you are ready and raring to go for the all important first attempt. As for technical cues I think about keeping the bar close and getting full extension. For me if I can get these two points working in my lifts the rest of the lift tends to fall into place. You don’t want to over think your warm up or competition, just concentrate on each lift and that first attempt.


What do you think when going out on the platform to lift how does it feel for you?

I think that I need to get this lift. Every lift is important in a competition. Like the warm up I want my lifts on the platform to be fluid and smooth and I think of those two technical cues, keeping the bar close and getting full extension. It is hard to describe how it feels on the platform. Some of my biggest competitions I can’t really remember what weights I attempted let alone how it felt. I feel the adrenaline and nerves kick in and just a general buzz of lifting in front of a crowd (it doesn’t matter what the size).


What tip would you give about technique has helped you in the past?

As mentioned earlier the two main points I think about when I lift if to keep it close and get full extension/finish the pull. These two points, to me, are the biggest factors in getting the lift or not.


What’s your advice about dealing with injuries?

Don’t try and rush back too early from an injury, any injury serious or minor. Overuse or tight muscles cause most injuries in weightlifting. It is much more beneficial to fix the cause/origin of the injury rather than just fix the pain temporarily. Follow your physio’s advice and rehab exercises not matter how tedious and annoying they may seem. The longer you can spend training without injury, the better weightlifter you will be and the more you will get out of training.


What’s your advice about dealing with major competitions?

It should be like any other competition. Do not over think the situation at hand. You still weigh-in 2 hours before, you have 6 attempts and warm up will be the same as you have done many times before. Sure there will be nerves and adrenalin but try and use them to your advantage. Once you get your first attempt in, everything will feel better.


What’s your advice about getting the most out of your training?

Train hard but train smart. Weightlifting is a tough sport both physically and mentally. You don’t have to get a PB every competition or week. There are plenty of other aspects to weightlifting you can work on when training isn’t being your friend. Training hard is important but recovery is key.


If there was one thing you would like to pass on to somebody that has just started and wants to achieve great things in the sport what would it be?

Weightlifting is a marathon, not a sprint. It isn’t a sport that you can do for 6 months or 1 year and expect to make it to the top. There is no season, it’s a 365-day per year sport and it can take years to learn. Learn about the sport, learn its history and learn the rules. There is a lot more to weightlifting than performing snatch and clean and jerk a couple of times a week. But mainly just enjoy it. Weightlifting is a wonderful sport and the more you enjoy it the more you won’t mind training 6 days a week.

March 30th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

An Interview with Dual Olympian Deb Acason

We are very fortunate at Cougars Weightlifting Club to have two very experienced Athletes in Damon Kelly and  Deb Acason.
here is Deb’s Interview

Deboly Small

Can you give a brief summary of your achievements in the sport

- 1st comp 18 June 1999 when I was 15yrs old
- 2001 East Asian games 3rd, my first senior Australian team and reached elite standard at 17yrs old
- 2001 world juniors 11,12,11th
- 2002 Manchester Commonwealth games, 3 silver medals in snatch, clean & jerk and total. Broke senior Commonwealth games snatch record
- 2002 world champs 9th place
- 2003 world juniors 5th
- 2004 Athens Olympics 12th
- 2005 world champs
- 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth games gold
- 2008 Beijing Olympics 8th
- 2010 Delhi commonwealth games 3rd
- 2014 Glasgow commonwealth games
- first Australian female weightlifter to compete in 2 Olympics and first to compete in 4 commonwealth games
- first female weightlifter to be inducted into AWF hall of fame
- Australian records in both u75 & 75+kg categories


How and why did you get involved and what kept you lifting in the beginning

- Initially I began lifting to learn good technique to get stronger for my throwing career. At 15yrs old I won the bronze medal in u17 inaugural world youth athletics champs in discus and wanted to get stronger for that. I also threw discus, shot and hammer at the world junior champs. My throwing coach looked up the Cougars Weightlifting Club and for about 12yrs I travelled from Ipswich to chandler to train 3-5 times a week. I also did an extra year at high school so I could train more. After a few months of training a few people including coaches at cougars suggested I lift for fun. In my second comp I won a state medal and then 3rd comp came 2nd in u20 in national champs. I was hooked.

I kept lifting because I love the feeling of pushing myself in weight training and surprising myself and others with my steady improvement on the platform.



What do you have in your training bag and what personal training gear do you use and why

- my training bag has: tape for thumbs, wrist wraps, knee wraps, knee guards (over the top of knee wraps- for the older lifters and compression and warmth to knees :), 3 back belts (2 soft ones for comp and when my lifters borrow it for their comp, 1 hard one for squats for more support), shin/calf thermo guards to aid calf recovery when catching lifts and squats at the bottom – stops sore calves, thermo shorts (always lift with this after my hip surgery arthroscope in 2003 for support at the bottom of the lifts and also for warmth, a spare lifting suit, bike pants, lifting boots, 3 types of heat cream, voltaren gel, Mannnatech sports drink powder, $10, small scissors, old programs.


When warming up for a big competition what goes through your head

- I try to just focus on each lift that I’m doing at the time – not thinking too far ahead about the platform lifts or about what anyone else is doing unless I’m trying to show off and make my lifts look easy. Showing confidence is important for me because it helps me lift better and give me drive and aggression that I need on the platform.

I do get “nervous” for big comps and comm games, Olympics, world champs warm up room are like nothing else, very different to warm up rooms for state and national comps so positive thinking and self confidence no matter what stage of your lifting career is really important. I often get butterflies in my stomach at big comps but work at controlling them so they work as Adrenalin and aggression rather than worry or anxiety.


What do you think when going out on the platform to lift how does it feel for you

- I usually am thinking about a long pull and aggression to get under the bar for a strong catch. I’m constantly visualizing getting the lift and being really aggressive. For most competitions I will visualize for almost an hour each night for weeks before the comp. I visualize each lift as successful. It’s almost like I’m talking myself into getting each lift. When going out to the platform I usually only think about the long pull and then celebrating a good lift.

When I think about celebrating the successful lift with the audience it usually pumps me up and helps me get the lift. I’ve always thought of lifting in some ways as putting on a show for the audience and really proving to everyone what I can do. Thinking like that definitely brings out the best in me.


What tip would you give about technique has helped you in the past

- One overall thing i always remind myself of is discipline in all lifts. Controlled aggression and discipline are good ways to remind me of how the lift should go technically – control at the start and an aggressive, active, fast second pull with a strong catch.

After years of lifting and losing weight it’s easy to be fatigued and tired during a lift so mentally I often have to rev myself up and make sure I don’t slump in the catch or exhale.


What’s your advice about dealing with injuries

- always get it checked out by a professions sports doctor (preferably an experienced one like Dr Roy Saunders:) and find out what the actual problem is first because then you know exactly what to do about it. Get it properly diagnosed, fix it and do the rehab and then you never have to worry about it being a niggly injury because you’ve given it the time to rest it.


What’s your advice about dealing with a major competitions

- do good mental prep weeks leading up to it I.e I visualized every night getting every lift on the platform for 8weeks before my first comm games. Enjoy the experience of the major comps, learn what you can from watching other lifters, and listen to the coaches. Every big comp is experience and if you have a good positive attitude then comp should go well. Make training a priority and put 100% into your build up including: training, good diet, hydration, rest time and sleep. Then you know you’ve done everything you can to prepare for comp and can be totally confident that you will go well. Also have your bag and boots etc ready the night before! :)


What’s your advice about getting the most out of your training

- your mind has to be totally committed to every lift in training. Every rep counts. And make sure you are doing all the right things with your diet – buy the Power Eating book and read it. Water, protein, carb drink and carb intake is so important in training prep and recovery.

Be focused in training but definitely enjoy it with those around you. Remember if you are training at Cougars you are at one of the best weightlifting gyms in the Southern Hemisphere so make the most of it!


If there was one thing you would like to pass on to somebody that has just started and wants to achieve great things in the sport what would it be

-  make the most of every opportunity and don’t give it a half hearted effort. Few people get opportunities to train in a great environment with good coaches so grab this chance with both hands and give it your best. Do it because you love it and want to be a part of the weightlifting world and work so hard that you have no regrets at the end. Also – appreciate your coaches and training partners!


March 25th, 2014 admin Posted in Articles | No Comments » Print This Post

2014 Commonwealth Games Trials Video

Click on the playlist button to select the sessions



March 23rd, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Commonwealth Games Trials


Rob 150 Snatch



The first session had Tia, and Jess competing
Jess who was coming back from knee injury pulled out a very solid 6/6 at her new body weight category of 53 and showed what a seasoned competitor she is.

Tia had to go for it to move ahead of Christine 162 and pulled out a 2Kg PB on the snatch and 9Kg PB on the Clean and Jerk to more ahead on bodyweight and then nearly jerked 101 to move up another spot – it was a very good effort !

The second session had Luke competing
Luke was unlucky on the last snatch and missed getting 125 through a small press out and the 167 just was not there on the day – Luke is such a hard worker in the gym and I hope it can come together for the club champs

The last session had Damo and Rob down to compete
Damo had been pulling out a few PB in training and we were expecting a good event however a full bout of  gastro the day before the start of the comp that required a doctor’s visit put pay to his challenge and he pulled out of the event

Rob who also had had a patchy buildup due to illness was an unknown quantity – due in part I think to the large and vocal crowd he smashed all 3 snatches to finish on 150 and the clean and Jerks he finished on 183 for a PB total of 333.

Thanks to all the people that helped out on the day – especially my wife Angela

On another more general note it was great to see all the new people that made the Team – Malek’s performance was sensational !!


Tia 101 Clean 


Full results


The team is

Francois Etoundi,
Damon Kelly,
Simplice Ribouem,
Chris Rae,
Robert Galsworthy,
Max Dal Santo,
Vannara Be
Malek Chamoun.

Seen Lee
Deborah Acason,
Erika Frost,
Jenna Myers
Tegan Napper
Socheata Be
Kylie Lindbeck

Mike Keelan
Anthony Dove
Miles Wydall
Yurik Sarkisyan

Robert Mitchell


Damo 315 Squat PB by 5 PB Back Squat

March 16th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

School of Champions: Bulgarian Training Documentary + Creatine Calculator

School of Champions: Bulgarian Training Documentary – Ivan Abadjiev, Sevi Maranov

During the Cold War, Bulgaria turned itself into one of the top lifting nations on earth. This documentary gives a view of the training and coaching techniques at that time.




Creatine Calculator – using Bodyweight

I have also added a Creatine Calculator to the QWA Website


January 20th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post