Glendale needs fitness facilities, says Strongman

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Wooler strongman Connor Cowens placed fourth at Britain’s Strongest Man, despite being hindered by a lack of training facilities in rural north Northumberland.

The powerful Cowens has had to put together his own buckshee equipment since starting out and says that he would struggle to compete without the backing of his sponsors in the local community.

“At the start it was extremely difficult as there is nothing in Wooler for people to exercise - even contacting the local council has fallen on deaf ears as they aren’t interested in things like this,” said Cowens.

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“I have invested all of my savings into equipment and have just made do with what I can get. I make throwing frames out of scrap wood from work, have a friend who made equipment out of scrap metal, and just do the best I can with what I can,” he continued.

Connor Cowens competing at Britain's Strongest ManConnor Cowens competing at Britain's Strongest Man
Connor Cowens competing at Britain's Strongest Man

He tossed a 30kg weight up and over his head to a height of 4m to win an event outright in the u80k category of the recent Britain’s Strongest Man competition organised by Kaos Promotions in Preston.

He scored a personal best of 300 kg for a single rep and took joint third spot with seven reps at 105kg as he competed against the best in the country.

“My sponsors have given me a great chance to buy things like better equipment, paying for a nutritionist full time along with a coach,” said, Connor, who also strained and flexed his way to sixth with a 130kg farmers lift in 13.22 seconds, and lifted the 110, 120.130 and 140 kg sandbags.

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Cowens would like to see some investment into health and fitness facilities in the Wooler locality as the nearest are at Berwick or Alnwick.

“It would be amazing to have the support of the council to open something up properly as this would be fantastic for kids and locals to get into a great hobby and feel the sense of achievement in doing something good for you, whether it be with weight or fitness,” he said.

“It has helped me an amount I could never repay, both mentally and physically.”