Women show their strength

This Is Wiltshire: Sarah Windo in the strongest woman competition Sarah Windo in the strongest woman competition

GIRL POWER was the theme of the day yesterday as women from across the country battled it out in Swindon to be named Britain’s Strongest Woman.

The 2012 finals were held at Pro Strength and Fitness Gym in Swindon and determined who is to go on to compete in the world finals in Finland next year.

An impressive 16 competitors from as far afield as Scotland competed against each other in events such as a van pull, farmers walk, log lift, deadlift and the famous atlas stones.

They ranged in age from 16 to late 40s, with two grandmothers even taking part.

Gymnastics coach Sarah Windo, 37, of Chiseldon , was the only local competitor.

She said: “I only started Strong Woman last year after my boyfriend got me in to it.

“I used to be a swimmer, then I played hockey and then I had a baby, but I have always enjoyed lifting weights.

“It is very competitive because whoever wins will go to the World Finals, but this is probably my worst competition so far because of my poor preparation over the school holidays – it has come about six months too late for me, but I am doing my best – my best events are the carrying ones, and my worst is the deadlift.

“They have got some really good girls here and the number of competitors is steadily growing each year.

“We do everything the men do but the weights are a little bit lighter obviously.

“It’s really challenging, but in a functional way, and I am quite competitive, so I enjoy it.”

The gym, based on Isis Trading Estate, boasts one of the largest ranges of strongman equipment in the country and dozens of people turned out yesterday to cheer on the competitors.

Co-owner Lisa Cookson said: “We have got all ages this year and they are all good at different events.

“The 16-year-old is a power lifter, so she is going to be better at certain events and we even have grandmas taking part this year which you wouldn’t expect.

“The crowd are great at cheering everyone on, it’s a great atmosphere.”

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