Paragon Barbell Club quartet excel to become British champions

The victorious squad after winning their events.
The victorious squad after winning their events.

Four members of Ilkeston’s Paragon Barbell Club have returned victorious from the British Powerlifting Championships.

The team, part of the Paragon Black Belt Academy, compete only in drug-free strength athletics events - this being a fully tested event and one of a number of titles which club coach Jason Dorn won last year.

Struggling with injury for the final six weeks of preparation, there was doubt as to whether Dorn would compete this year. He entered but clearly stated he would see how his warm up went on the day as to whether he made it onto the actual platform to compete.

Although only lifting around 90 per cent of what originally aiming for, Dorn still managed competition bests in all contested disciplines - powerlifting lifts, squat, bench and deadlift - to become British powerlifting champion for the second time in the masters 45-49 along with open class title in the 95kg section.

Mark Price was another Paragon member with a question mark over whether he would compete beforehand but did so with a late entry. He also did well, taking the 100kg masters 45-49 along with open class title.

All eyes were also on Paragon team members Katy Mellors and Sam Hartshorn, both newcomers to strength athletics and both having been training for less than a year.

In the end both conquered their nerves and looked cool and relaxed on the platform, hitting some excellent lifts to see Mellors become ladies champion in the 60kg weight class, and Hartshorn the junior champion.

Jason Dorn said of the day: “it was a great day for us. It’s fair to say we all felt the nerves a little, me a bit more than usual with the injuries troubling me and also having two first timers in Katy and Sam making their debuts.

“But in the end all our hard work paid off and I’m really very pleased with the performances of Katy and Sam and look forward to seeing them go onwards and upwards as strength athletes.”

Paragon Barbell are currently preparing a team for a drug free strongman and strongwoman event. They have a number of first time athletes currently preparing to do battle with far more experienced competitors.

Jason added: “We have a team of hopefully around tentaking part all currently working hard and hitting their goals in the gym regularly. I’m working hard around the injuries and desperately want to lead the team out as both a competitor and coach, but we’ll see how it goes. Either way we’re going to have some fun and we will be coming home with strongman and strongwoman titles!”