Charity weightlifting event raises vital funds for North East veterans

Over 60 athletes from all over the North of England, attended a weightlifting event last weekend to raise valuable funds for a charity that provides accommodation and support to homeless veterans.

Following the success of the inaugural event last year, Lifting Launchpad attracted some of the country’s finest children and adult weightlifters in their categories, who each competed for various trophies.

A total of £1,058.81 was collected, with funds raised from entry fees, a raffle and refreshments.

For the second year running, 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (3RHA), very kindly allowed the charity to host the competition on site in the gym at Albemarle Barracks in Newcastle.

The event was organised by staff from Launchpad, in collaboration with Northern Weightlifting and Regeneration specialists. RE:GEN Group kindly sponsored six of the trophies and arranged for engraving plates for all the winners.

Staff at Launchpad helped out on the day, loading up the weights on the bar for each competitor and presented medals to the competitors.

Sam Hughes, Assistant Manager – Projects at Launchpad, said:

“Following the success of last year’s event, we had a lot of really positive feedback and those who attended asked if we would hold another event this year. There are so many people I’d like to thank for helping to organise the event, which we now hope has firmly established itself in athletes’ calendars every year.

“The aim of the event is to bring athletes, clubs and coaches together in a fun, friendly environment to compete and to raise awareness and vital funds for Launchpad. Thank you to everyone who came and made the day a success and special thanks to Staff Sergeant Gary Stamp who worked tirelessly behind the scenes setting up and dismantling before and after the event.”

Also organising the event was Chris Baker of Northern Weightlifting who sponsored four trophies, all the medals and donated prizes for the raffle together with his brother Terry.

Commenting about the event, Chris said:

“Once again, it was a privilege to organise the event for the charity. This is a fun day out for the lifters to meet up and just enjoy the day in a relaxed atmosphere and raise money for a brilliant charity. I’d like to thank all the clubs and athletes for their continued support of this event and hopefully see you all in 2023.

“I’d also like to thank the technical officials, loaders and volunteers who helped out on the day. It was fun for me and my son Michael to step back on a platform for the day. It has been eight years since Michael picked a bar up, hopefully he gets the bug again. I retired in 2012 and have only lifted twice since then, but really enjoyed the day.”

The best lifter awards were presented to the following athletes: 

Female categories 

  • U10 Girls – Emily Jackson, Hallam Barbells
  • U10 Boys – Axl Travis, Triple X Weightlifting
  • U12 Girls – Angelina Bychuk, Hallam Barbells
  • Youth Women – Maddie Rodger, NTB
  • Senior Women – Hannah Beaumont, Triple X Weightlifting
  • Masters Women – Alison Crompton, Triple X Weightlifting

Male categories

  • U12 Boys – Hayden Davies, Triple X Weightlifting
  • U13 Boys – Oscar Smith, Hallam Barbells
  • Youth Males – Frankie Williams, Barton
  • Senior Males – Josh Hutton, NTB
  • Masters Males – SSgt Gary Stamp, Army Weightlifting

Launchpad provides accommodation and support, with the help of specialist providers, to veterans who have found the transition from the military to civilian life difficult. The charity runs three houses – Avondale House in Newcastle and Hollyacre House in Durham and Speke House in Liverpool, supporting up to 100 veterans at any one time.

For more information on Launchpad, please visit

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