Wow what a busy start to the year !

Its been a while since I posted as its been a super busy start of the year !

JME Round 1
It been great to see the rise in lifting in Qld and this weekend clubs up and down the state were competing in the JME round 1 see full clubs list also Damo has done a great Google Map of affiliated clubs 

The stand our lift to me was Tia doing a 175 total – 247 sinclair at 58 to put her 3rd in Australia on Sinclair  – all done while competing in the Crossfit Opens ! and Leanne doing a B grade total at 63 to place her at the top of the Australian Masters Rankings.

League Round 1

The full results of League round 1 are here
Harry won division 2 ! with a great performance with Sam Downs coming 3rd in Division 3 and Vanessa 3rd in division 4

Arnold International

The Arnold International saw Mary and Mitch compete in their first International Event with a new Luke Gardner in the 85’s

They all snatched very well with Mary getting a PB Snatch and Mitch leading the Australians on Sinclair after the Snatches
The Clean and Jerks did not go so will with some press-out’s and bad luck with wrist straps coming undone
Luke once he stabilizes at this weight will see the lifts return – its a great job he made it to 85 in itself.
All in all they performed very well with Mitch getting a PB total in his first international and 5/6

It was great to see Angie’s lifter Erika win the women’s event with 3 national Records

The event was very well covered by the AWF and the press.





High Performance Coordinator Jacquie White

It was great to catch up with the new High Performance Coordinator Jacquie White this weekend and I am looking forward to working with her this year to help improve the performance of my athletes and my own coaching .



March 22nd, 2015 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

Next Years Qualifying Standards and Periods

Here are the qualifying standards for next year

2015 AWF Calendar_Qualifying Criteria_141114


Zulfiya Chinshanlo (-53kg, Kazakhstan) setting a new world record with a 133kg clean and jerk

Love the technique here !

Cougars won the JME Clubs competition for the third year in a row !



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

Mike Keelan Shield 2014


October 18th, 2014 admin Posted in News | No Comments » Print This Post

JME Round 3

There was some great lifting in JME Round 3

Mary 6/6 and Sinclair now over 200 !
Ebony 16Kg on her total – and some really solid lifts
Jett – new Record on the Clean and Jerk of 40Kg – very gutsy
Sean – C Grade in first comp so off to Nationals
Josh Mak  75,90 at U15 69Kg  6kg PB – great comeback from last week
Mitch 115,145 at 77 and 120 so so close !
Pat – 5Kg on his total – C grade getting close !
Ash great 107 snatch !
Nice to see Regan back again with a 265Kg total
Leon 17Kg PB and so close to qualifying !
Liam also qualified for Nationals with a  16Kg PB
Gareth lifted awesome today 6/6 and 12Kg PB
Vanessa also back on the platform with a 12Kg PB
Leanne Knox 63,79 at 63 – 10Kg PB – shame she cannot go to Nationals !

Please read the following.

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.  – but C for Nationals
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. – but D for Nationals
Grade Scale here

Here are the AWF qualifying periods


Next few comps
League Round 4 – Gold Coast Sept 13,14
Qld Junior and Senior Cougars –  Oct 4,5
Australian Youth and U15 Tasmania  – Oct 11,12



Thanks to the Fitographer for this great photo when we visited Brisbane Barbell Club last week





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

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