Britain’s Disabled Strongman 2015
Britain’s Disabled Strongman 2015 was the UK’s first ever strongman competition for disabled competitors and was organised by Gary Clarke, the UK’s first disabled strongman. Similar events have taken place previously in Iceland and USA but never before in the UK. Founder Gary Clarke, 37, from Somerset, began devising his own event after noticing a distinct lack of disabled strongman events in the UK.
Inspired by the World’s Strongest Disabled Man event created by Arnar Már Jónsson and Magnús Ver Magnusson, this event was supported by 2 times winner of Britain’s Strongest Man, Laurence Shahlaei, hosted by renowned Strongman MC, Les Wiltshire, and was refereed by 4 time World’s Strongest Man, Magnús Ver Magnússon.
This first-ever Disabled Strongman event is took place Saturday 29th August at the Northwood Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent; the event was sponsored by Impey Showers with competitors aiming to win the Arnar Mar Jónsson trophy.
There were 6 separate events/feats of strength, making up the event:
- Hand over hand Truck Pull
- Log Lift – weighing 75kg for reps
- Hercules Hold – weighing 80kg on each hand and timed
- Crucifix Hold – weighing 10kg on each hand with arms stretched
- Circus Dumb Bell – weighing 30kg for reps
- Atlas Stones – weighing up to 90kg!
Gary said “I’ve competed in disabled strongman competitions around the world for a number of years and was always disappointed that, even after the Paralympics, there was nothing like this at home. Last year Magnús Ver Magnússon, four-time World Strongest Man winner, said I should bring the event to the UK, and here we are.” He went on to say, “It has been a lot of hard work, but it will hopefully be worth it when we raise the profile of disabled strongman competitions in the UK.”
Neil Whitehead, Brand Manager at sponsors, Impey Showers, said:
“We have sponsored Gary’s strongman efforts around the world for a number of years, and knew that we wanted to be involved in bringing this great event to the UK. We want to help Gary raise the profile of disabled strongman in Britain and this is a great first step in doing so.
Event one was an ‘Arm over Arm’ seated pull, using a ‘transit’ type van. The win on this 20 metre pull went to Lee Small from Connah’s Quay in North Wales who completed the course in 13.65 seconds.
The second event of the day was the 75 kg seated Log Press, the win again going to Lee Small with 12 reps in the 75 second time limit; however Rochdale’s Greg Bramwell challenged him well, taking second spot with 11 reps.
Third event of the day was a seated Hercules Hold of 80 kg per hand. Bradley Gleave from Warrington took an early lead with his time of 58.35 seconds, however once again Lee Small managed to sneak ahead with a hold of 60.59 seconds. Event four, a seated Circus Dumbbell Press saw Greg Bramwell take the lead with an astonishing 25 reps, he managed to stay ahead of Lee Small who notched up 24 reps.
The fifth event, a seated Crucifix Hold consisting of holding a 14 lb sledgehammer in each hand held at arm’s length for maximum time. All but two athletes exceeded one minute with Gideon Griffiths from Carmarthen laying down an early marker with a time of 1 min 54.64 seconds. Lee Small, with remarkable determination wasn’t to be defeated; he set a remarkable time of 2 min 10.03 seconds!
In traditional strongman style the final event of the contest was the Atlas Stones, The athletes were seated in a specially adapted wheelchair, the challenge, to move stones weighing 40, 50, 60, 70 and 90 kilos from an oil drum on their right to one on their left. Five athletes managed to load all five stones with Lee Small again taking top spot in a time of 36.76 seconds for all the stones. His nearest rival, Mark Williams from Anglesey loaded all five in 1 min 1.80 seconds.
Full and final points and places:
Each athlete gave every ounce of their strength, grit and determination, as the scores in the mid-table show only too well. These guys are an inspiration to watch and a credit to the sport.
Britain’s Disabled Strongman 2016 will be held at The Strongman Sanctuary, Ash, Kent on 28th May, this promises to be an event not to be missed. To follow that, the World’s Strongest Disabled Man will take place in the UK for the first time at The Manchester Regional Arena on Sunday 14th August 2016.
Strongman for disabled or adaptive athletes continues to grow, as it rightly should, not only in the UK, but around the globe.
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