INCREDIBLE feats of strength were on display as women and men competed to be crowned Basingstoke’s Strongest Novice.

The fourth annual event organised by Elite-Bodyworks saw competitors take in different events to showcase their strength, endurance and speed.

Over the weekend, The Gazette sponsored event crowned four winners in four different categories. For the women on Saturday, July 1 they would compete in either the Under 65kg and over 65kg, with the men competing on Sunday in their categories, either under 90kg/Opens.

For some of the competitors they have been in training for this event for a number of years, but for others this was their first outing and everyone involved showcased incredible strength and determination.

One of the coaches at Elite-Bodyworks, Franki Napolitano said the sport of strong men and women is becoming more popular and is always seeing a whole range of people from all walks of life taking part.

She said: “I used to compete in these types of events three years ago, and the number of women especially would be quite low as it has always been considered a men’s sport.

“But we are seeing more and more women get involved and we have people from Basingstoke going on to bigger competitions as well.”

She added: “The sport in general is growing and you can just tell from the crowd here that there is a real sense of comradery amongst competitors and spectators.”

On the Saturday it was a tight contest with two points separating the women in the under 65kg, with Rosie Sheppard coming out on top, and Kelly Williams taking the over’s crown.

Rosie told The Gazette: “This is the first time I have competed in one of these competitions and winning has just spurred me on.”

For the men it was tight at the top with Ben Edgell winning the under 90kg category by two points, but Rob Lewis was the clear winner of the opens weight group with 37 points.


Women’s under 65kg:

FIRST: Rosie Sheppard - 25 points

SECOND: Kelly Scantlebury - 24 points

THIRD: Melissa Williamson - 23 points

Women’s over 65kg:

FIRST: Kelly Williams - 63 points

SECOND: Alex Foden - 56.5 points

THIRD: Amy Rawcliffe - 52 points

Men’s under 90kg:

FIRST: Ben Edgell - 46 points

SECOND: Ryan Sellars - 44 points

THIRD: Ryan Burge - 38 points

Men’s open weight:

FIRST: Rob Lewis - 37 points

SECOND: Tom Griffiths - 31 points

THIRD: Gareth Palmer - 30.5 points