Child star Aeryn has got some real girl power

Winning a competition having lifted three times her own body weight, Aeryn-Ejjina Atkinson is not your average 10-year-old.

10 year old Telford Weightlifter Aeryn-Ejjina Atikinson has recently lifted three times her own body weight as a guest lifter at a competition and won. Pictured here at ORE Fitness Community in Telford.
10 year old Telford Weightlifter Aeryn-Ejjina Atikinson has recently lifted three times her own body weight as a guest lifter at a competition and won. Pictured here at ORE Fitness Community in Telford.

The youngster from Telford is on a quest for the Olympics in the future and would also like to have her own gym one day – and her achievements up to yet are certainly something to behold.

Aeryn-Ejjina has turned a lot of heads in the weightlifting scene across Shropshire and beyond.

She regularly trains at ORE Crossfit in Halesfield and also travels to Gloucester, where as a guest lifter she blew away her competitors. Despite weighing 32kg (five stone), she lifted a whopping 96kg (15 stone) to become the joint-winner of the Silver Dollar Lift at the Oak Strength Push Pull Move event.

Not content with that, Aeryn-Ejjina also set personal bests in the three-rep Log Press and carried double her body weight in the Yoke Walk – doing 15 metres in 32 seconds.

A first-place medal for the Silver Dollar Lift, another medal for her personal bests and a trophy for daring to participate against older, more experienced weightlifters represented a stellar day’s work.

But Aeryn-Ejjina is not resting on her laurels and wants to carry on smashing targets.

Her proud father Craig Atkinson said: “She’s been doing it for about three years.

“She’s 10 now and she started when she was seven.

“She saw a YouTube video on Crossfit and just went ‘that’s what I want to do’.

“Me and her mum said ‘no, you’re not doing that, you’re too young’.

“So, she built herself a barbell out of Lego and for the next six weeks, every single day, she was working her little butt off to prove us wrong.

“It got to the point where we thought ‘well, we’re going to have to bite the bullet here and find a qualified trainer’.

“We eventually found ORE Crossfit and for the next two years, through the pandemic, she’s worked with them.

“She then finally got noticed by Phoenix Weightlifting Gym in Gloucester, where she’s now on their pre-Olympic programme.

“She goes down once a month to work on technical skills and stuff like that.

“Her aunt happens to live in Gloucester and works with a strongwoman coach and said to have a go, so it’s all snowballed from there.”

Aeryn-Ejjina has been training with strongwoman Emma Kennedy in Gloucester and was invited to compete to prove strength training is suitable for children with the right guidance.

Her 96kg feat came after only learning the lift a week before. Only one other woman was able to lift the equivalent in a pound for pound contest.

“The competition was down in Gloucester. She was a guest lifter and shocked everyone with how well she did,” said Craig. “She’s set herself the goals of getting to the Olympics, the Crossfit Games and the Commonwealth Games, so she knows what she wants.

“She also wants to own her own gym, so she did a business studies course through lockdown.

“She’s been doing work experience through the summer at Foundry Gym in Telford – and she’s 10.”

Dad Craig admits weightlifting was not a sport he thought his daughter would get involved in, but her passion for it cannot be denied.

Aeryn-Ejjina now hopes to impress on a bigger stage as the British Championships take place in November.

“We were thinking ballet or something like that,” added Craig. “But she just did an athletics competition in running and throwing, and she has a Phoenix Weightlifting qualifier in October.

“Then, hopefully, there’s the British Championships in November.

“She just loves all of it and we’re really proud of her.”

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