A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) lecturer has set a new world record at the Powerlifting World Championships in Sweden.
Sports and exercise science lecturer Bobbie Butters, 26, squat lifted 180.5kg in the 57kg weight class on September 26, beating the previous lift of 178kg to set the new world record and win gold.
The professional athlete also came second in the bench press category and fourth in deadlift, which led to an overall position of third and a bronze medal at the prestigious event.
Bobbie, who is sponsored by sports brand SBD, said: “It was an emotional moment. I compete in a fantastic weight category against world-class athletes, so I had to bring my best. I knew I could do it and just had to focus.”
Originally from Dudley, Bobbie has been lifting competitively for the last decade, with the Sweden competition being her second World Championship and third time representing Team GB.
Bobbie, who studied strength and conditioning at UCLan as an undergraduate before going on to complete an MSc via research, now teaches on sports, nutrition and strength and conditioning courses at the university, which she juggles alongside her training and running a business.
The lecturer trains for two hours a day, four or five days a week, and is coached by another UCLan strength and conditioning graduate, Ryan Hayes, who she runs a personal training company with called Strength Odyssey.
Bobbie said: “My background as an athlete and personal trainer provides a solid foundation for my work as a lecturer.
“It’s about having a flexible structure and being able to shift my focus when I need to. I was a competitive athlete all the time I was a student, so I’m used to juggling my many commitments.”
Bobbie’s colleague and Reader in Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at UCLan, Dr Jonathan Sinclair, said: “Bobbie’s success is testament to her hard work and dedication. Her skills as an athlete feed into both the practical and theoretical aspects of her teaching, so the students are really lucky to be able to learn from her.”
Bobbie, who has been weightlifting since the age of seven, now plans to begin a PhD next year and continue taking part in powerlifting competitions on national and international stages.
She added: “Everything I’m doing complements the other. Whether it’s training and competing, helping other athletes to develop in my role as a personal trainer, or passing on my knowledge through teaching and research. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”