Focusing on a professional sport, while balancing a full-time career can be tough work, but for para powerlifter Kim Dean, the rewards are worth the extra effort. With a series of world titles under her belt, she shared with Islandlife what it takes to become a powerlifter and how putting the sport on the Island’s map has helped her career.
61Kg weight class
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT?
I have always been around sport growing up and enjoyed taking part in various team and individual sports at school and through the Dwarf Sports Association, using it to keep physically fit. Like many children and young people in sport there was the dream of trying to get to a level where I could compete on the world stage.
For me as a para athlete the options are somewhat limited. I can swim but not anywhere near well enough to excel! So my options as a dwarf athlete were shot-put, discus or powerlifting. At first I tried field events as accessing athletics clubs and equipment was much easier 10 years ago compared to getting into powerlifting. I made it on to the parallel success pathway but didn’t make it any further unfortunately.
Then life as an adult took over and I concentrated on my career as a physiotherapist. It was only training for the World Dwarf Games in 2017 that got me refocused on sport and led to me being spotted by British Weightlifting in 2019.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR SPORT?
The physical and psychological challenge – on the day it’s just you and the bar – will you own it or will it own you?
THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU FIND IS?
Fitting in my training around working full time. This has been especially hard through lockdowns when I couldn’t access the gym. With my sport the only way I can train properly is to get on my para-bench and press. That’s very difficult to replicate if you can’t access the equipment.
YOUR PROUDEST SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT?
Equalling the British record to come 9th at the recent World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. Making the top 10 on my debut international event was amazing.
YOUR BIGGEST SPORTING INFLUENCE IS?
My GB teams mates – we encourage and push each other to deliver our best. It’s a really supportive squad to be a part of.
YOUR EARLIEST SPORTING MEMORY?
Playing football with the boys and showing them that this girl can!
YOUR TEAMMATES/COACHES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU AS?
The analytical one!
IN 5 YEARS TIME WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF?
The aim is to get selected to represent GB at the Paris 2024 Paralympics
TOP TIP FOR YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Have the confidence to believe in yourself
ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ATHLETES?
Keep working on the little things because they really add up and help you progress towards your goals.
SUM UP YOUR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS
Climbing a mountain
DO YOU HAVE A MOTIVATIONAL SONG?
Our God – Chris Tomlin