Rebekah Tiler has celebrated the reinstatement of her funding with a string of records at the weekend.
The 15-year-old from Denholme set a personal best in the clean and jerk of 120kg on the way to winning the Northern Senior Champion-ships at her home club of Mytholmroyd, near Halifax.
Bingley Grammar School pupil Rebekah, who broke records from under-15 right up to senior level with that lift and added an 83kg snatch, feared that her £350 a month from UK Sport as part of British Weight Lifting’s world class female programme was going to be stopped.
However, governing body BWL appealed and the decision was overturned last Wednesday.
“This is great news,” said Rebekah’s mum Emma. “It means that she can carry on as before in terms of competing domestically and internationally.”
Among Rebekah’s targets are the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer and the World Champ-ionships in Kazan in November.
Before that are the British Championships at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on May 10-11, which is the final qualifier for the Commonwealth Games.
British Weight Lifting’s chief executive Ashley Metcalfe was delighted with UK Sport’s about-turn and said: “After a challenging few weeks following the original UK Sport decision to withdraw funding for our elite programme, I am delighted that after refocusing our strategy, we have had our investment reinstated with immediate effect.”
Metcalfe revealed that it was the current crop of promising female weightlifters – including Rebekah – that helped persuade UK Sport to reverse their original decision to cut funding.
He said: “Our compelling new strategy focused on developing our most talented female athletes with a view to challenging for medals by Tokyo 2020, and gave UK Sport the confidence that we had the correct ideas and, most importantly, the right team in place to surpass their ‘no-compromise’ milestones.
“Without question, these are really exciting times for BWL and we have a fantastic group of very talented young female lifters, spearheaded by Zoe Smith, Rebekah Tiler, Emily Godley, Sarah Davies, Mercy Brown and Faye Pittman.
“These athletes, supported by several others, have shown true potential and we believe that they can progress in line with UK Sport’s investment principles which demand a top-eight place in Rio and a medal in Tokyo.
“We have committed to introducing a new World Class Programme aimed at maximising competition and training opportunities and providing back-up support to help the lifters not just achieve their goals but go beyond their current expectations.”
Meanwhile, Riddlesden resident Ian Hewitt, who owns I&J Hewitt Butchers in Bar Lane, is helping Rebekah by providing her with free chicken and steak to boost her protein intake.