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Issue No. 399 February 2016

Powering to gold

Superintendent John Rivers in Canada with his two gold medals.

Congratulations to Superintendent John Rivers, who picked up two weighty titles at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Vancouver.

John, from PNHQ, won gold in the standalone bench press, with a personal best 130kg lift, and the three-lift competition involving back squat (180kg), bench press (125kg) and dead lift (190kg).

He competed in the masters under-93kg category in the tournament, which attracted athletes from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Britain and the Pacific as well as host Canada.

John says powerlifting is a relatively small but growing community in New Zealand. Constable Darren Neves - a leading light in the sport in Auckland - also competes internationally.

John took up the sport in earnest while deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2007 as a way of both passing time and engaging with counterparts from many other countries.

“It’s a really positive, healthy activity and you meet lots of wonderful, interesting people,” he says. “It’s categorised by gender, weight and age so anyone can train and compete – and it’s attracting a growing number of women.

“It builds core strength so it’s relevant to most other sports and general fitness.”

Visit www.nzpowerlifting.co.nz to learn more.

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