UCLan Lecturer Sets New Powerlifting World Record

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) lecturer is celebrating after setting a new world record at the Powerlifting World Championships in Sweden.

Sports and exercise science lecturer Bobbie Butters squat lifted 180.5kg in the 57kg weight class, beating the previous lift of 178kg to set the new world record and win gold. The professional athlete also came second in the bench press category and fourth in deadlift, which led to an overall position of third and a bronze medal at the prestigious event.

Bobbie said: “It was an emotional moment. I compete in a fantastic weight category against world-class athletes, so I had to bring my best. I knew I could do it and just had to focus.”

It was an emotional moment. I compete in a fantastic weight category against world-class athletes, so I had to bring my best.— Powerlifting athlete and UCLan sports and exercise science lecturer Bobbie Butters

The 26-year-old, who is sponsored by sports brand SBD, has been lifting competitively for the last decade. Sweden was her second World Championship and third time representing Team GB.

Bobbie, who studied strength and conditioning at UCLan as an undergraduate before going on to complete an MSc via research, is now using her wealth of experience in her teaching on sports, nutrition and strength and conditioning courses.

“My background as an athlete and personal trainer provides a solid foundation for my work as a lecturer” she said. “I love my sport and enjoy building a rapport with the people that I work with.”

Bobbie’s colleague and Reader in Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at UCLan, Dr Jonathan Sinclair, congratulated her. He said: “Bobbie’s success is testament to her hard work and dedication. Her skills as an athlete feed into both the practical and theoretical aspects of her teaching, so the students are really lucky to be able to learn from her.”

My background as an athlete and personal trainer provides a solid foundation for my work as a lecturer.— Powerlifting athlete and UCLan sports and exercise science lecturer Bobbie Butters

Bobbie trains for two hours a day, four or five days a week, and is coached by another UCLan strength and conditioning graduate, Ryan Hayes. The dedicated professional juggles this with her teaching commitments and running a personal training company with Ryan called Strength Odyssey.

She said: “It’s about having a flexible structure and being able to shift my focus when I need to. I was a competitive athlete all the time I was a student, so I’m used to juggling my many commitments.”

Bobbie, who has been weight lifting since the age of seven, is enjoying developing her teaching career alongside life as an athlete, with plans to begin a PhD next year and continue to take part in powerlifting competitions on national and international stages.

She added: “Everything I’m doing complements the other. Whether it’s training and competing, helping other athletes to develop in my role as a personal trainer, or passing on my knowledge through teaching and research. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login