National strongman competition comes to Hartlepool

Defending champion Tom Shaw will be looking to emerge victorious in the event for the fourth time in a row.
Defending champion Tom Shaw will be looking to emerge victorious in the event for the fourth time in a row.
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Some of the country’s best up-and-coming strongmen are set to descend on Hartlepool this weekend for a national event.

Elite England Strongest Man will be holding a qualification event on Sunday for the World Amateur Championships at Xtreme Fitness, in Vue Business Park, Ladysmith Street.

We’ve got some of the top young guys in the country taking part

Bob Daglish

It will start at 12.30pm, with events including a 300kg car lift, 400kg tyre lift and a last man standing log lift. Kevin Coils, from Hartlepool, will be one of the competitors, while Newcastle’s Tom Shaw will be looking to win the title for the third time in a row.

Strongmen who have competed in this amateur event in the past have gone on to rub shoulders with the best on the planet in World’s Strongest Man, and there are hopes that members of this year’s batch will go on to have similar success.

Bob Daglish, of Elite Strongman Promotions, said: “Well-known names have competed in this in the past, and gone on to progress to professional level.

“We’ve got some of the top young guys in the country taking part, with 12 athletes having qualified.

“It’s mainly up-and-coming competitors, and we’ll be trying to find the next one to progress to World’s Strongest Man.”

Strongman competitions are particularly popular on TV, and Mr Daglish added: “If you’ve seen them on the TV, you’ve got to see them live.

“On the TV, some parts of it are cut, and you don’t get to see the guys psyching themselves up. Live, you see them walking around the arena and getting psyched, before seeing them lift. On TV, you usually just see the best and worst athletes, and half of the entertainment is missed out.

“This is going to be a very entertaining show, and we’re hoping for a couple of English records to be broken.”

Anyone is welcome to attend the event, with an entry fee of £2 to be paid at the gates. The top four competitors will qualify for the British Strongman Challenge ahead of possible qualification to the World Amateur Championships.