by Brooke Duncan
Weightlifting:Athletes at the Miles Weightlifting Club are going from strength to strength, with one of their members beating out international competitors to take out a bronze medal at the Australian Open in Brisbane last month.
Chloe Kerwick, 22, competed against other lifters from Australia and beyond to take the bronze, an achievement she says will stay with her for a long time to come.
"I ended up coming out with a bronze medal and a new PB total of 169 kilos, which qualified me for the nationals in September,” Kerwick said.
"So I was pretty happy with that. It was a pretty big comp and I competed against a fair few big lifters from overseas, like Samoa and Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.
"It's a different sort of high, you could say. The adrenaline and the happiness you get from it and the satisfaction that you get from coming out with a bronze at that sort of comp is pretty special, something you don't get to experience very often.”
And Kerwick is not the only Miles lifter heading to the nationals, with 15-year-old Kylie Salisbury also qualifying to compete in the under-20s at the Junior and Senior Championships.
"After all the hard work, when you get a new PB and get qualified for a bigger comp it's a big achievement,” Salisbury said.
For Kerwick, the success was particularly notable considering they come from a regional area.
"Obviously the harder you train, the better results you get. But out in the country towns, having to travel for those bigger competitions does make it a bit more difficult,” Kerwick said.
"I myself work three jobs, so fitting in training on top of that is a challenge. So it's more just doing what we can at the moment and if we do qualify and we do have the opportunity to compete at those bigger comps then we'll definitely take it.”
Both competitors have been lifting for about two years, and agreed coach Sonia Stenhouse had been a big part of their success.
Stenhouse said seeing her students' success was what coaching was all about.
"For me it's really satisfying, everyone improves at different rates, but when everyone works so hard and then when you see it all come off on the platform that's what we all, what the coaches, do it for,” Stenhouse said.
"And to see them happy and to see them so satisfied with what they've achieved.”