Larne powerlifter Megan in fundraising bid for IPF Commonwealth Championships 2024

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A young sportswoman from Larne is seeking support for a fundraising bid that would see her represent Northern Ireland at the International Powerlifting Federation’s Commonwealth Championships in South Africa this autumn.

Megan Shardlow (22) qualified for the sporting event after competing in the Northern Ireland Powerlifting Federation’s May Open.

The contest on May 12 was only the third time that the former Carrickfergus Academy pupil had participated in a powerlifting competition. “I first joined gym January 2022 as a New Year’s resolution and never looked back,” Megan said. “My first competition was October 2023. I started practising for the competition in July 2023 when I put my entry in, but I have always had an interest in strength training.”

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With a varied sporting background in everything from horse riding to football, swimming, running, hockey and netball, Megan recently began her journey as a personal trainer after qualifying for level two and three.

Megan (22) qualified for IPF Commonwealth Championships following her success at the Northern Ireland Powerlifting Federation’s May Open.  Photo: Megan ShardlowMegan (22) qualified for IPF Commonwealth Championships following her success at the Northern Ireland Powerlifting Federation’s May Open.  Photo: Megan Shardlow
Megan (22) qualified for IPF Commonwealth Championships following her success at the Northern Ireland Powerlifting Federation’s May Open. Photo: Megan Shardlow

And now, her success at the May Open presents a chance to achieve a lifelong goal of representing her country on the international stage.

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But with no Government funding currently available for powerlifting at the IPF Commonwealth Championships, it is up to Megan and the other competitors to raise the funds required for travel, accommodation, and competition fees.

The Larne woman, who works at Aroma coffee shop in the town, is hoping to generate as much as possible towards her costs after launching an online GoFundMe appeal at https://gofund.me/21842ecd

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In a post on the fundraising page, Megan wrote: “To be able to [compete] so soon into powerlifting makes me so driven to make everyone in Northern Ireland proud, and hopefully inspire other young people to start getting strong and believe in themselves a bit!

"I really appreciate every single donation, no matter how small and in the meantime will be working 24/7 as I always have done. The money will be used for flights, accommodation and so on and to hopefully bring my coach along too!”

The International Powerlifting Federation’s Commonwealth Championships are due to take place in Sun City, South Africa from October 4 to 13, 2024.

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