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Haverhill resident and ITU nurse Siobhan Taylor on winning gold on her England debut at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships

Haverhill’s Siobhan Taylor says it was a team effort which helped her win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in New Zealand last week.

The 44-year-old, who works as an ITU nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, was making her debut in an international event, having been selected for the England squad after winning three consecutive All England titles.

Taylor competed in two competitions at the Due Drop Events Centre, in Auckland, finishing second in the M1 84+kg bench press behind New Zealand’s Polly Websdell, before going one better in the powerlifting to take home the gold medal.

Siobhan Taylor with her medals in Auckland
Siobhan Taylor with her medals in Auckland

“I can’t quite put it into words,” Taylor said. “It’s the kind of stuff that happens to other people.

“It was my dream to go out and get a gold medal and I just keep looking at it. I can’t quite believe it’s mine.

“It was a privilege to do it and be out there representing your country and doing your bit for the team. It’s still a lot to take in, but it was an amazing experience.

“I just want to say thanks to everybody who shared my story, donated and cheered me on.

“Every single little thing I had support from really helped me get the result. I look at the medal and this is the outcome of all the help and support and work that’s gone into it.

“It’s not just my medal. It’s a part of everybody who supported me to get there. It’s a team effort, and that’s not just people in the gym but also family and friends and the community. I’m really grateful.”

The England team at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships
The England team at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships

Taylor’s second event of the week saw her take on competitors from New Zealand and Wales in three different disciplines including squat, bench press and deadlift.

The Haverhill resident built up a strong lead with victories in the squat and bench press, which proved to be more than enough to clinch the overall title, despite finishing fourth in the deadlift.

“I came off after the deadlifting thinking I had probably not placed very well,” Taylor said. “I asked my handler Martin ‘how did I do?’ And he said ‘Siobhan, you’re champion.’

“I really didn’t have any clue. I only knew what my next lift was, so I didn’t know what that was doing to the score.

“I sat in the chair and cried. I didn’t really know what to do. I was relieved it was over and I was shocked I’d won. I’m still shocked that I’ve won.

“I got a message from one of my friends who has been lifting with me for a long time and she said ‘I’m so proud of you.’

“I nearly quit the sport entirely two years ago. I lost my dad, my relationship ended and it was during Covid. It was all getting a bit too much, but the support I’ve had has kept me going.

“Everybody thinks it’s a solo sport but it’s not. I was part of team England but I’ve also got my own team. My win is their win.”

Siobhan Taylor on top of the podium at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships
Siobhan Taylor on top of the podium at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships

Taylor, who has also now been invited to try out for Team GB next year, is hoping her success can inspire more women to give the sport a go.

“I hope it will inspire other women and girls to try it out because it is a sport for everybody,” she said.

“I help run a group called Iron Ladies and we go to different gyms across Cambridge and put on taster days for women to come down and try lifting.”

For more information about Iron Ladies please visit www.facebook.com/ironladiesuk