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Amber overcomes crash injuries to earn spot at world powerlifting championships

PUBLISHED: 17:47 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:49 01 August 2017

Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA.
 Picture: Nick Butcher.

Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2017

After being involved in a horrific crash which left her in a coma, Amber Hannant could never have dreamed she would be travelling to America to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships.

Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA.
 Picture: Nick Butcher. Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA. Picture: Nick Butcher.

But it was through her rehabilitation programme that the 23-year-old, from Thurlton, realised her strength and was inspired to start competing.

Miss Hannant was a passenger in the crash which left her with a broken pelvis, ruptured spleen, punctured lung and broken ribs, and after two days in a coma she was moved to intensive care.

Nine months later, after spending eight weeks in a wheelchair, the former nursery nurse started rehabilitation sessions at Seasons Health Club in Beccles, and was told she had the strength to take up powerlifting.

Amber Hannant in hospital after being involved in a car crash. Picture: Courtesy of Amber Hannant. Amber Hannant in hospital after being involved in a car crash. Picture: Courtesy of Amber Hannant.

She decided to become a personal trainer, landing a job at the same gym where she recovered, and just over a year ago started training hard for her first powerlifting competition.

She said: “It took years for me to feel physically and emotionally strong after what happened, and this makes me feel confident and empowered which is amazing.

“It is nice to do something different because it’s not that common for women.”

Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA.
 Picture: Nick Butcher. Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Powerlifting consists of three main lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift.

Miss Hannant is a member of the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association and competes in the junior female 58.5kg weight class.

She took part in the National Powerlifting Championships in February where she came second and set a British record for lifting 67.5kg in the bench press. And last month she competed in the Four Nations Powerlifting Championships in Ireland representing England, where she beat her own record and lifted 75kg.

Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA.
 Picture: Nick Butcher. Amber Hannant from Thurlton is set to compete in the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston, USA. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Now she is training for the World Powerlifting Championships in Boston in November.

She said: “It was my goal to make it to the worlds next year, so to be competing this year is amazing.

“I do get really nervous but it is a good feeling.

“I’m aiming to break all the British records for my weight and age.”

Her dad Simon said he was very proud.

“It was the last thing we expected because she’s my only daughter and she has always been very girly, but now she can lift more than some of the men,” he said.

Help Amber get to Boston

Miss Hannant usually trains five times a week, both at Seasons Health Club and at Top Body in Gorleston.

But with her sights set on the world championships, she has started a 14-week intensive training programme which will see her in the gym every day for two hours.

She is also being helped by coach Callum Barney, a world champion powerlifter, who provides nutrition and training advice.

She said: “Socially you can’t go out drinking loads and you have to make sure you are eating right and getting enough sleep, but my friends and boyfriend are all really supportive.”

In order to compete in Ireland, Miss Hannant received support from both gyms, The Queens Head in Thurlton, Read Brothers Ltd in Norwich, Cripps Developments Ltd in Beccles and friends and family.

With no funding provided for competitions, she is now seeking support for her trip to America.

Anyone interested in sponsoring her can email amberhannant-PE263@live.co.uk

You can also donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/amber-hannant

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