Our patron

We are honoured to have Zoe Newson, British Powerlifter and Bronze Medallist in the 2012 Paralympics, as our Patron.

Zoe Newson (born 24 March 1992) qualified for the Paralympics ranking 5th in the top World Rankings list. In 2012 she posted a European record at the IPC Powerlifting British Championships and later on at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London she secured a bronze medal in the under 40 kg class for Great Britain. Zoe, who was the youngest member of the Paralympics GB Powerlifting team, secured the bronze medal on her Games debut by equalling her personal best with a lift of 88kg. Zoe trained hard to secure her place as a British Medallist by was training up to 6 times a week as well as additional fitness work and swimming.

At just 14 years old Zoe, who was born with growth hormone deficiency, tried out powerlifting for the first time. She joined the Suffolk Spartans club in Colchester after her old coach Neil Thomas gave a talk about the Army at her school in East Bergholt in 2006. Neil spotted Zoe playing sports and recommended that Zoe entered professionally. Zoe initially said no because she wanted to watch her brothers play football but when she went home and spoke to her parents about what Neil had said, they told her to try it and if she didn't like it she could give it up. She decided to give it a go and discovered that she really enjoyed herself!

Entering a local competition in 2007, Zoe lifted near 40 kg, but by January 2008 she had improved this to 47.5 kg, taking second place at a Paralympic competition in Cardiff. In May she lifted a personal best of 60 kg and repeated this feat in June at the British Finals to make her British Champion in her class.

She bettered this again that summer with first place at both the World Dwarf Games and the British Finals, lifting 75 kg in both. In November she travelled to Bangalore to compete in the IWAS World Games, taking silver in both the junior and senior events. In 2010 she took first place again in Cardiff, now lifting 80 kg. Her progress continued throughout the year, lifting 85 kg, now double her own weight, at the British Finals and breaking the junior European record. In July Zoe was invited to attend the IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, finishing 1st in the junior event and 4th in the seniors. She finished the year by qualifying for the England team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, her lift of 85 kg placing her just outside the medals in fourth place. In 2008 Zoe won the British Dwarf Games Champion, British Champion, and the IWAS World Development Champion. Zoe entered her first IPC competition in 2008 and has since represented Great Britain at the 2009 IWAS World Games in Banga lore, India, where she won the silver medal in both the junior and senior competitions. In 2009 Zoe won IPC invitational winner, British Champion, World Dwarf Games Champion and in 2010 she won IPC invitational winner, British Champion, IPC World Junior Champion.

At the 2010 IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Zoe was awarded the junior world title and also achieved 4th place in the senior competition. In 2011 Zoe took first in Cardiff, the British Finals and the IWAS World Junior Games. Zoe also set a European record to win gold at the 2011 IPC Powerlifting British Championships, Stoke Mandeville, UK. She then took a break from competing to train in preparation for qualifying for the 2012 Summer Paralympics. In February she qualified for the team taking the only position in the women's under 40 kg category. On 30 August, despite having her second lift chalked off, she equalled her personal best lifting 88 kg to take the bronze medal.