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Case Study

Matthew Scanlan - Powerlifting


A former Belfast Met student has brought home a bronze medal after he represented Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in New Zealand.

Matthew Scanlan, who studied Level 2 Fitness Instructing and Level 3 Personal Training at the College from September 2019 until June 2020, started working in PureGym after completing his studies.

During his two and a half years working for the popular gym chain, Matthew worked with a colleague who competed in Powerlifting.

Matthew said: “One of my colleagues used to compete in powerlifting and she talked me into having a go so I began to work hard training for it and signed up for my first competition which was held in Newtownabbey, with my colleague as my coach.

“We went to the competition in September 2021 and I came away with a British record in the bench press class and a Northern Irish record in deadlifting.”

Following his achievements in his first competition, Matthew was hooked on the strength sport:

“I then went on to compete in Irish and Scottish competitions where I was selected for the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships. I flew to Auckland, New Zealand, to represent Northern Ireland.

“I battled against the best in the Commonwealth and despite being significantly younger and lighter than those in my category, I came home with a bronze medal in the bench press category (85kg).”

Matthews next goal is to represent the country in the World Championships:

“Next, I am aiming to represent Great Britain in the Junior World Championships. It has been an incredibly short journey from my first competition until now and I’m excited to see what’s in store next!”

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