During October 2010, in the very top balcony of the J.N Sports Complex in India, was a 20 year old Georgina Black ,who witnessed one of the greatest moments in Team Scotland’s Weightlifting history.
“I was there when Peter Kirkbride won his Silver at the Delhi Commonwealth Games! Since I first started Weightlifting, I’ve trained with him and he is a really great friend. To be there, it was definitely an inspiration and that’s when the penny first dropped for me that Glasgow 2014 was a real possibility.”
Georgina, widely known as Georgi, was part of the Achieve Programme which gave her the opportunity of a lifetime to shadow Team Scotland throughout the Games. Along with 43 other young and talented athletes, coaches and mentors, she visited the Games Village, witnessed several sports events including the Weightlifing and had the opportunity to speak to various athletes. However, this was no holiday, it was part of an equipping process showing her what an international multi-sport Games feels like, so when it is her time to shine, she will know just what to expect.
Born, raised and still based in Kilmarnock, Georgi states that her biggest inspiration is her coach, Charles ‘Chick’ Hamilton: “Chick has been my coach since I first started 12 years ago. I turned up for a fitness session but he asked me what I thought of Weightlifting. I have always been a tomboy so that Thursday night I gave it a shot and I have been there ever since. Chick is a totally different kettle of fish, he is always texting me asking how I am doing. He is my main inspiration and if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t still be there.”
Georgi may appear to be a tough ‘tomboy’ who can lift most people’s body weight with ease, but she is very much a people person. Along with other members of her training squad, including Peter Kirkbride and Graeme Kane, she works for the Vibrant Communities Project run by East Ayrshire Council which aims to get kids off the street and into sport.
“We go into the community and lead a whole host of different sports. Blue cages are all over East Ayrshire and we play football and basketball in them. We also give talks and help out with other programmes like addictions and disabilities. I actually also coach Weightlifting and it is pretty cool because we coach but then we do our own training straight after so the kids can see us in action. Our aim is to give back to the community and get kids into sport.”
Georgi trains between four and seven times a week, with the intensity currently rising as she strives to make a lower weight class than she has previously competed in. Her next challenge will take her to Malaysia for the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships this weekend, where she plans to size up the opposition she hopes to face in Glasgow in exactly eight months time.
You can follow Georgi on Twitter @geebygeebgeeb or read about her progress in the Sunday Herald where she is one of ‘Six to Follow’.
Photo credit: Malcolm Boyd