He only took up powerlifting two years ago but Bournemouth teenager Farris Collins is already a Commonwealth gold medal winner and British record holder.

The LeAF Stpdio student has returned home triumphant from the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships, which were held in Vancouver, Canada.

The rising star, who competes in the Sub-Junior 93kg category, won gold in the bench press competition, a further four bronze medals in squat, bench press, deadlift and total as well as achieving two new British records in squat and total.

His achievements are the more outstanding given the relatively short time he has participated in the sport.

At last year’s World Championships Farris, came an impressive seventh – but for this year’s competition he is now one of the hot favourites.

So how did Farris discover he had a talent for powerlifting, which sees him lifting an incredible 35 stone, more than double his own body weight?

“I was training with Bournemouth Athletics Club as a field athlete, taking part in disciplines like shot put and discus when I was introduced to powerlifting by my coach Paul Rees,” the 18 year-old said.

“I decided to give it a go and soon found out that I enjoyed it much more than anything else.”

Farris, who is studying at LeAF Studio for a BTECH in Sport and Performance, is now eyeing up gold medal success in the next European championships, which take place in March, followed by the World’s in June.

Executive principle of the LeAF Academy, Gill Blanshard, said: “We are incredibly proud to have one of the rising stars of powerlifting as one of our students.

“Farris is an incredibly hard working young man who has a steely determination and we expect him to go on to achieve further success.”

LeAF Studio is for elite athletes and performance students aged 14 to 19.

At LeAF, students like Farris are able to do their day-to day academic studies whilst also receiving training from experienced sports coaches

LeAF Studio is part of the LeAF Academy based at West Howe in Bournemouth, which also includes Elm Academy (4-11 year-olds) and Oak Academy (11-19 year-olds).

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