Thornton’s Cammilla White was at a crossroads. In 2014, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and spent 12 months learning to deal with the condition.
After throwing herself into exercise, she eventually turned her attention to powerlifting.
“I find it really empowering for females to go and lift some heavy weights,” she says.
“Women are strong by nature, but this adds an extra layer to that and it’s something that really appealed to me.
“Being a diabetic, increasing muscle also helps to maintain sugar levels and minimise the amount of insulin needed.”
Now into her fourth year of competitive lifting, White will join more than 100 other athletes at Body 360, Swansea, this weekend to contest the Australian Powerlifting Union (APU) NSW state championships.
She has set her sights on reclaiming the number one spot in the 84kg open women’s class after finishing second at the 2018 national championships on the Gold Coast.
Her training regime leading into a competition usually consists of squatting four times a week, starting at 120 kgs; bench-pressing around 70kgs three times a week; and deadlifting what she can on the day, often about 150kgs.
“The feeling you get when you deadlift 100kgs, when you get to triple figures for the first time, is amazing,” White says.
“The community that we have here is very supportive as well – if you see people lifting heavy in the gym, you try and cheer them on.”
Apart from White, the state championships will also boast the likes of current world champion, Rachel Jones, and multiple world record holder and powerlifting legend, Max Bristow.
Lifters will range in age from 15 to 74 years old, with many hoping to make the state team to compete at this November’s nationals in Western Australia.
The APU NSW state championships takes place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, with lifting to start at 8am each day.
Visit powerlifting-apu.com for more information.