8 November 2019
Porscha Johnson, a Year 10 pupil at Bolton School Girls’ Division, has been named the GPC Under 60kg/Under 16 Powerlifting World Champion, despite taking up the sport only seven months ago.
She earned the World Champion title during the half term break while representing Great Britain at an international competition in Slovakia. At 14 years old, she was not only the youngest person on team GB but also the youngest in the whole competition. Nonetheless, she won the gold medal in her class, breaking two World records and two European records along the way.
Porscha’s introduction to Powerlifting came in April 2019. She also competes at a National level in Athletics (hurdles) and velodrome cycling and the initial idea behind Powerlifting was to strengthen her up for these sports. However, after her very first training session at Kaos Strength Gym in Preston, her coach, Rhianon Lovelace, was so impressed with her strength that she asked if she could enter her in the British Qualifier. Her mum agreed, as long as Porscha wanted to take part.
She started weight training two days a week and, just eight weeks later, she entered the British Qualifier at The Strength Factory in Bolton. She not only won her class (Under 56kg/Under 16) but also set three British records: Squat 90kg, Bench Press 40kg and Deadlift a massive 120kg.
Porscha progressed to the British Powerlifting Championships, held in Bristol in August, where she won the Under 56kg/Under 16 category and became a British Champion. In addition, she set two World records in Squat (100kg) and Deadlift (125kg).
After this success, she was invited to represent Great Britain at the GPC World Championships in Slovakia on 21 October. By the time this competition came, she had moved up a weight category due to natural growth to compete in the Under 60kg/Under 16 class. She went on to win the Gold in her new category and even set new World records in Squat (110.5kg) and Deadlift (128kg).
This means that she now holds four World Records, two European records and three British records across two different weight categories: a rather special achievement.
Porscha has not only enjoyed Powerlifting success this year. She competed for her other sports while in the midst of preparations for her first ever Powerlifting competition. On 11 May she finished third and earned a Bronze medal at the Greater Manchester Championships (Hurdling) and the following day competed in her first Omnium at the Manchester Velodrome, where she achieved an amazing win in her Keiron race.
She continues to train six nights a week in all three sports, preparing for next year’s Nationals and British Championships alongside studying for her GCSE courses.