Active all-rounder Jessica McLean shows her sporting strength

FOCUSED: Jessica McLean (12) executing her personal best on the 18ins deadlift on an Axle bar at 90kg.FOCUSED: Jessica McLean (12) executing her personal best on the 18ins deadlift on an Axle bar at 90kg.
FOCUSED: Jessica McLean (12) executing her personal best on the 18ins deadlift on an Axle bar at 90kg.
​WATER polo player Jessica McLean gets a lift from a completely different kind of sporting discipline.

Jessica, from Rotherham Metro, is a weightlifting and Strongwoman enthusiast, following in the footsteps of her mum, Samantha, a Strongwoman champion.

The 12-year-old from Whiston went up against much older rivals in a Teen U19 competition in Preston recently and did herself proud, finishing fourth overall. Jessica won the 27kg log lift event section, hoisting it 11 times in a minute.

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Taking on all challenges, the Oakwood School pupil was fourth in the “farmer’s carry,” which is 50kg per hand carried 30 metres in ten metre shuttles.

On top of that, she registered a third in the sand bag throw, involving four, six, eight and 10kg bags thrown over a 4m high bar.

Jessica was fourth in the atlas stones challenge, involving handling 30kg, 40kg, 50kg and 60kg stones, and although she came last in an axle deadlift for reps, she came out of it with a personal best on an axle bar at 90kg.

Dad Scott said: “With her mum being a Strongwoman, Jess has always been interested so when she was younger we got her into weightlifting.

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“She still does that but she wanted to enter Strongwoman events and so with teen competitions having now started in the UK, a group in Preston allowed her to enter theirs one month early. Jessica will be 13 in a month.”

Up until last year she was the U12 British champion for three years in her weight category. She is now in the U15s and is also a British champion at Olympic weightlifting.

Jessica has a good role model in her mum. Samantha is a “natural” world Masters champion at Strongwoman because she doesn’t take performance-enhancing drugs. Also a top ten finisher in the World Masters, she is taking a year out to concentrate on work.

With Jessica still at a young age, she and Scott manage her weightlifting closely so as not to put too much strain on her body. Added Scott: “Weightlifting is safe for kids but from a parental point of view you still worry. Jess has always been interested in different sports and we have kept her active and it is great to see her enjoying what she does.”

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