IT started as a routine lunchtime training session down the gym for naval reservist Helen Barnsley-Parson.
But it ended with her being crowned a Royal Navy female powerlifting champion.
The 21-year-old, who serves in HMS King Alfred reserve unit in Portsmouth, often keeps fit at the gym at HMS Collingwood in Fareham – but never before had she lifted weights during her workouts. That changed after she stayed behind to watch the navy’s powerlifting single lift championships at the base and was roped into competing.
To her surprise, she achieved a total lift score of 220kg – a new junior and open record – and won the best female lifter gong in her weight category of 70kg.
Helen is now training with the Royal Navy Powerlifting Association and is aiming to compete in the inter-services and regional competitions.
She is hoping to qualify for the British nationals with a chance she could end up competing in the Olympics.
Helen, pictured, said: ‘I was a complete beginner to the concept of powerlifting, but it turns out I’m not bad. I am very proud of my achievement.’