Sports scholar Josh Lynch recently took part in a special question and answer session with Welsh Border Life magazine as part of their Rising Star feature, which highlights some of the most talented young athletes in the country.
Have you always been sporty, and do you come from a sporty family?
Yes I’ve always been interested in sport . All members of my family including mum, dad, brothers and sister all do some form of training whether it be cardio, strength and conditioning or wellbeing.
My younger brothers are starting Prep School this year (Y1 and Y3) and they are always asking my weightlifting Coach Harry Misangyi when is he going to start coaching them.
It’s funny sometimes I will walk into our gym and catch them having a burpee competition with each other. To be honest they are better at burpees than me and I think that they are going to break my records, I hope so.
How long have you been weightlifting, playing rugby, and competing in athletics, and how did you get into each of the sports?
I started playing rugby when I joined Rydal Penrhos in 2013 I had always wanted to play from an early age through watching TV.
Once I started playing I wanted to be the best that I could be so I started looking through he internet for tips. I saw a video of my favourite players, George North and Carlin Isles, doing some Olympic Movements to increase his speed and power.
Next day Dad took me to the local gym and I stared Olympic Weightlifting. Athletics as a sport started as another area where I could improve my rugby. I would take part in competitions for the school and practice during the school day.
What do you enjoy most about each of the sports?
Rugby and Olympic lifting are two very different sports and I enjoy them for different reasons. When I play rugby I love being part of a team and when the team just gel together and it clicks then there is no better feeling than winning on the pitch.
I enjoy Olympic Weightlifting because its me against myself when I’m standing on the platform. All the months of preparation with others has finished and I’m standing in front of a crowd with all the attention on me, timer counting down and I know that now is the time to be mentally strong and be the best I can be.
What have been your proudest achievements to date in each field?
I can remember my first completion I broke the Welsh record at that bodyweight. That was special occasion for me, now I hold all the records at four different weight categories under 14s.
My proudest Weightlifting achievement was last June when I was asked to represent Wales in the European Junior Battle. It was the 50th year anniversary of the competition and a busy event.
I won the Gold medal in my weight category and managed to beat the two weight categories above my own.
The competition was the hardest I’ve experienced and I learned a lot from that competition. In Rugby my proudest achievement so far was when I joined Sale Sharks Development Academy last year, the trials were tough but the level of skills coaching available to us ha meant that my Rugby game has really developed. I can’t wait to begin the next season.
I would also say that when we won the Cooper Cup in Rydal Penrhos’ Year 6 against Colwyn Bay was a very emotional and special game. I love playing for my local team Bethesda and have great time with all the team there.
How do you find enough time to dedicate to each sport, and how much training does each one take?
In two words my mum! She is really helpful (and strict) when it comes to organising my time with me.
She ensures that all school work is done before I can train in any sport and preps all my food for me so that I can focus on developing and bettering myself. My whole family are great and always make sure that I can attend training or that I have someone at every competition or game.
Is the school supportive of your endeavours?
Yes the school is very supportive of my endeavours. There are fantastic facilities and many great opportunities at Rydal Penrhos. Whether it is the new Strength and Conditioning Suite or the recently developed seminars that the director of sport Mr Boyd has introduced which can vary from nutrition to Sports Psychology, there is always additional help and support available.
What are your future ambitions?
My future ambition are to keep getting better and doing the best that I can. I intend to compete in the 2020 Commonwealth Games in Olympic lifting and I want to represent Wales in Rugby union and after watching the British and Irish Lions I definitely need to be part of that team, hopefully alongside George North.
*You can read the full article in the next edition of Welsh Border Life magazine*