04:00PM, Monday 27 December 2021
Jack Coombes-Clarke, 12, lifted 115kg for a 10kg personal best
A father and weightlifting coach led a charity weightlifting day to raise money for the hospital that saved his daughter’s life – raising around £4,000.
Charlie Knight, head coach at Red Beard Barbell Club in Moor Farm, Holyport, ran the Push & Pull event on December 18 to raise money for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at John Radcliffe Hospital.
Charlie’s daughter Beatrix, now 18 months old, was admitted to hospital aged two months after a heavy cold led to breathing difficulties, then gave way to an unknown viral infection.
She was there for a week. Because of COVID-19, visiting was restricted.
“It was pretty traumatic,” said Charlie. “The staff at John Radcliffe’s were excellent – they’re the only reason I’ve still got a daughter.
“The care Beatrix received was absolutely breath taking and all at the height of COVID lockdowns.
“I've not been able to thank them fully for keeping my daughter alive and for the support they gave my wife and I through that period. This is my way of doing that.
“I wanted to raise money for them [the unit] because frankly, they are grossly underfunded.”
The money raised will help buy supplies from baby wipes and cotton wool, to sensors and spare cables for machines and monitors.
The 23 participants lifted weights until they ‘maxed out’, i.e., increased to the maximum weight they could lift.
Participants completed dead lifts (from floor to hips) and log presses (above the head) in separate areas of the gym, socially distanced.
The day saw some participants reach new personal bests. Awards were presented the heaviest lifts in relation to the bodyweight of the participants.
Jack Coombes-Clarke, 12, one of the club’s junior members, lifted 115kg for a 10kg personal best.
Another member, Eve Bennett, is looking to qualify for Worlds Strongest Woman next year, while participant Lauren Dwyer had her first strongman/woman competition a couple of weekends ago.
The heaviest deadlift was 260kg, while the heaviest log press was 135kg.
So far the Go Fund Me page has fetched more than £3,690 of a £500 target. To donate, visit tinyurl.com/35xvczjc