News

Solicitor Kimbah pushes powerlifting to the limit

WORLD RECORDS: Kimbah Pengelly set a new benchmark in powerlifting at the national championships in Brisbane. She is pictured above with coach Ron Birch. Doug Eaton

THE smell of chalk dust and the clanging of weights is music to the senses of powerlifter, snake lover, and upstanding solicitor Kimbah Pengelly.

Ms Pengelly set two new world records at the national powerlifting championships in Brisbane last weekend, dead lifting 120kg and qualifying for the world championships in November.

It was an impressive effort for a woman in her 50s who took up heavy weights again just two years ago - after an eight-year break.

She stopped training with coach Ron Birch in 2005 when five months pregnant with her daughter.

A career change into practising law followed.

"I had to adjust to being a mother for two years, then I was studying for two years, and then did general fitness for two years," she said.

"My life got exceptionally busy.

"Powerlifting is not something you just pick up with no training - I needed to condition myself again after having a break."

Now a Lismore solicitor - also closely involved with several community groups, including being chair of the WIRES wildlife rescue organisation - she's back with a vengeance.

"Kimbah was always a very keen student of the sport," coach Ron Birch said.

"I was happy to spend time with her to get her ready again.

"It's a pretty big effort to come back like that after everything she's done."

Mr Birch himself set four world records in his class and is also off to the world championships alongside three of their fellow teammates.

One secret to their success is Ron's "power gym", in a backyard shed in Wollongbar, where heavy metal is the soundtrack of choice.

"What we do is a bit noisy and messy - there's chalk flying everywhere, and bars clanging about," Mr Birch said. "We can do what we want here.

"For anyone just walking in, it can be a bit intimidating."

Ms Pengelly said Mr Birch motivated her to "lift and improve".

"He is really an inspiration to everyone who trains there - he's a legend," she said.

And there's no plan to retire.

"I've got decades of lifting left in me," she declared.

"I love the fact I can push myself to my limits, it helps me with all other areas of my life.

"If I'm struggling with other areas (of my life), I just have to think about what I'm capable of doing physically," she said.




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Parents were warned baby could die during home birth

Exterior view of the Nimbin Hospital.

“This child’s tragic death has affected the community"

Winners of science and engineering challenge

From left,  Riley Gillespie, Kai Farrelly, Tayla Kennedy and Elizabeth Schlenker, all from Southern Cross K-12 School Ballina, powering up a city in the ElectraCITY activity.

Three local schools win annual challenge.

5 big projects bringing $300m to Lismore

SUPER SHOPPING: The planned Lismore Home & Leisure Centre would include nine large retailers, a 355-space carpark and dedicated café precinct with outdoor dining, children's play area and parents' room, plus taxi and mini bus drop-off areas.

Lismore is booming, and here's the proof

Latest deals and offers

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

Carnifex Snippet 4

Carnifex are about to release new music with their sixth album. Photo Contributed

"Drown Me In Blood" from CA based death metal outfit CARNIFEX. Sixth studio album...

Carnifex Snippet 3

Carnifex are about to release new music with their sixth album. Photo Contributed

"Drown Me In Blood" from CA based death metal outfit CARNIFEX. Sixth studio album...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?