Year 11 student, Belle Harwood, has been weightlifting for less than a year, but is already on track to international success.  She is currently ranked first in Australia for her age and weight by a massive 30 kilograms, and third in Australia over all ages in her weight category.

Belle was introduced to the strength and conditioning program CrossFit by her PE teacher in 2014, and as she says, “instantly became obsessed”.

“Weightlifting is a part of CrossFit, and was always my favourite part,” Belle says. “My current coach, Troy Hewkins, had been training there for a while and I’d heard all about his career in weightlifting. After a few lifting classes he saw potential in me, we had a chat about the future, and he took me under his wing.”

Belle played netball and basketball for many years, but it’s weightlifting that has truly captured her imagination.

“I’ve learned so much already through Olympic lifting about managing emotions, staying focused, being patient and pushing myself in order to be successful,” she says. “I train at CrossFit Anarchy, a great facility with some incredible people. I get up at 5 am to train and I love it. The 6 am crew are the best!

“Troy is great at letting me know what I’m capable of. “He has told me that lifting 150kg in competition (I recently lifted 144) before July will qualify me to represent Australia in Malaysia at the end of this year. That’s the goal for now. Long term I’d love be as successful in the sport as possible and travel around the world representing Australia.

“After year 12 I’m going to go to university to study something in health and fitness, maybe naturopathy or radiology. I just know that I want to be able to help as many people as I can to live happier, healthier lives.”