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Alex’s Commonwealth Dream
Thursday 26th November 2015 @ 13:38 by Mark Phillip

A 21-year-old weightlifter is setting his sights on the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Team GB athlete, Alex Collier, is hoping to represent England at the 21st anniversary of the games, which are being held at Queensland’s Gold Coast, Australia.

Currently ranked as the number one in Britain for his body weight and age, Alex is primed for further success.

Putting his weight behind the youngster is Tony Weatherhead, owner of Weatherhead Butchers, Dane Bank, Denton.

Tony spoke to Reporter Sport and detailed the reasons behind his backing. He said: “I decided to support Alex because he’s a local lad and I want to give a little bit back to the community.

“It’s clear to see how much the sport means to him, so I’m happy to help in any way possible.

“I’ve sponsored a football kit before, but nothing quite like what I’m doing for Alex.”

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Thanks to Tony’s generosity, Alex has been able to supplement his training with optimum nutrition.

On a daily basis, the butcher, who has owned the shop for 25 years, supplies Alex with a steak and two chicken breasts.

Alex’s father, Keith, has nothing but praise for Tony’s generosity. He said: “Tony was more than happy to sponsor Alex and his support has been absolutely immense.

“We both appreciate everything he does for us.

“We’re forever indebted to his contributions.”

Alex has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the sport since he was first acquainted with the iron at Heartshead High School.

In the space of a few years, the former Hyde Clarendon Sixth Form student has racked up a string of personal achievements.

In this year alone, Alex has won the British Senior Championships and placed fourth in the Senior Commonwealth Championships.

The youngster’s career has also been bolstered by appearances at the European and world championship.

Add to those a few British records, and it’s clear to see why the youngster is brimming with confidence.

He said: “I was introduced to weightlifting by Olympic Gym at high school.

“I thought I’d give it a go and see if I enjoyed it.

“Thankfully, I loved it, and from then on I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Understandably, Keith is immensely proud of his protégés success. He said: “I’m very proud of Alex because he puts a lot of effort into what he does, so everything he’s achieved has been totally deserved.

“The amount of time, dedication and effort that Alex puts into the sport is tremendous.”

Citing his father as an inspirational figure, Alex added: “My dad’s been one of my coaches since I first started, so without him I wouldn’t be here now.”

Alex is currently undertaking six training sessions per week in order to maximise his potential for future competitions.

Although the 21-year-old hasn’t secured his place at the Commonwealth Games, he’s hoping to put a strong case across for selection at his next competition. He added: “I’m next competing at the English Championships which are being held at the end of January.

“I’m favoured to win the event, so hopefully I will.”

Despite having his sights set on the Commonwealth games, Alex is also hopeful of bigger and better things. He concluded: “I’m on course to win a medal at the commonwealth games which is one of my main aims, but I also want to compete at the Olympics and try for the top ten.”

Alex is currently looking for further sponsorship to help with his career.
Those wishing to do so can contact him on the following: [email protected]