A new power station opens in South Kent this weekend, and demonstrations are planned. Before environmentalists start organising protests, the power concerned is neither nuclear nor fossil fuel based- it is solely human power generated by some of Team GB's incredible Paralympians. Folkestone Sports Centre will be transformed on Saturday 19th to become the venue hosting British Weightlifting's UK IPC Bench Press Competition.
London2012 Bronze medal winner Zoe Newson will be one of the athletes competing in this physically demanding sport. The diminutive Zoe captured hearts when she shed a tear at the presentation ceremony, after having received her medal in the under 40 kg category- a worthy reward for having raised over twice her body weight during the Paralympic competition at the Excel Centre.
A snowy Folkestone will not have the same temperatures nor the same fervent atmosphere experienced by the Paralympic fans at the Excel Centre last summer. However a fascinating day's sport still awaits anyone who ventures to the home of the Channel Tunnel this weekend. Powerlifting is sport at its most elemental- success is not dependent on lucky bounces, tactics or coaches instructions, it is not even about beating one's competitors. The competition is primarily a battle between the will of the athletes against their impaired bodies. The athlete will lie face up on a bench with the weights placed directly over their shoulders, they will then take hold of the bar and exert maximum pressure in the hope of being able to fully extend their arms which will signify a valid lift. The psychological drama of the sport is compelling, all the spectators at the Paralympics were willing the competitors to overcome their limitations of body and heartily cheered each successful lift. Come to Folkestone Sports Centre at 11 this Saturday and experience this drama for yourself. Sporting wise this is not Phil The Power, but you will definitely feel the power.